SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD
MOVIE: *1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: **1/2 (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
Robert Rodriguez has one of the strangest track records in cinema history. On one hand, he’s been responsible for some pretty amazing films for an adult audience. These movies include the “El Mariachi” series, “Planet Terror” and the fantastic “Sin City.” He’s also done some decent kids movies, like the first two “Spy Kids” movies.
However, sometimes the child inside of him takes over a little too much, and the result is films like “The Adventures of SharkBoy and LavaGirl,” “Shorts” and the other “Spy Kids” movies. I don’t have anything against Rodriguez; I just think that when he’s making movies for children under 10, he uses a different set of standards.
That said, I’m not under 10, so I might not be the best judge of “Spy Kids: All the Time in the World.” In this movie, he continues the gimmicks he started with “Spy Kids 3.” However, now that digital RealD 3D technology is available in theaters and in the home (which was not the case when he made “Spy Kids 3,” released in anaglyph format for both theaters and home video), he could really go off the chain. To compound the gimmick, and to keep the film aligned with its number 4, Rodriguez presented it in 4D in the theaters, which included Aroma-Vision cards.
The story of the film follows a new generation of Spy Kids, since the original ones are grown up now. Retired spy Marissa Cortez Wilson (Jessica Alba) is trying to raise a family while her husband (Joel McHale) is hosting his own reality series called “Spy Hunter.” A maniacal villain who calls himself the Timekeeper threatens to take over the world, which brings Marissa back into the spy game, and her kids come along for the ride.
“Spy Kids: All the Time in the World” comes with all the silliness and sugar-coated pop fanaticism that is found in Rodriguez’s lesser kids films. There’s more in common with the manic “Shorts” than there is with the first “Spy Kids,” a clever movie that seems downright low-key compared to his latest films.
But like I said, I’m not the target audience. While I found the plot, characters, dialogue and logic of the film practically unfollowable, my kids loved the movie. It caters to young minds, with plenty of fart jokes included.
While the gimmicks can be found in the higher end Blu-ray releases, the bare bones DVD comes with no 3D and no Aroma-Vision. That leaves the only home video special features to be an interview with Rodriguez, deleted scenes, video diaries, featurettes on “Spy Kids Passing the Torch” and “Spy Gadgets” and some spotlights on Ricky Gervais playing the robotic dog.