Spy Kids

Dir: Robert Rodriguez
Starring: Alexa Vega, Daryl Sabara, Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino

Most children's film make painful viewing for adults, forced to sit through simplistic storylines, two-dimensional characters and painful child actors. Spy Kids avoids these pitfalls with elegant grace, even if you suspect Rodriguez had to be restrained from going for the blood squibs half the time. Vega and Sabara play the titular brats (who're actually not entirely unendearing - this is high praise, believe me) who discover their parents (Banderas and Gugino - though it's a strange relationship, in which they never kiss) are world-famous spies, only to have to rescue them from the clutches of toymaker and TV star Mr. Floop, played by Alan Cumming, in a well-judged performance reminiscent of Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka. The look is great, featuring lots of bright colours and amazing designs, both in sets and gadgetry, and there are additional delights in the presence of Rodriguez regulars like Danny Trejo. If the morality is sometimes a little ham-handed, it can be forgiven when, for the vast majority of the time, this is fine entertainment for grown-ups of all ages.


The family that slays together,
stays together
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