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maryann johanson, ruining movies since 1997

Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams (review)

It’s bigger, it’s dumber, it’s more obvious, it’s less fun. It’s a sequel. Writer/director/just-about-everything-else-er Robert Rodriguez (The Faculty) makes big-budget movies on little budgets — he even does his own special effects on his iMac in his garage, or something — and so studios leave him alone to do his own thing. Which is good: his movies don’t look or sound or behave like the usual Hollywood spew. But his follow-up to the insanely successful and moderately diverting Spy Kids suffers from standard sequelitis: In trying to do more of the same yet be entirely new, it just ends up being louder and faster. Not that the kiddies will care. The once-accidental James Bond Babies Carmen and Juni Cortez (Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara) are now part of a Spy Kids organization, vying for the top-puppy status with “evil” Spy Kids Gary and Gertie Giggles (Matthew O’Leary: Frailty and Emily “But Haley Joel Gets To Have All The Fun” Osment). There’s another Someone Bad Is Trying To Take Over The World plot, and many jokes about stinky feet and nose-picking, so youngsters will be delighted. Adults will get a mild kick out of the many celeb cameos, probably there to please their kids or grandkids, and the fact that the Giggles’ dad is played by animation genius Mike Judge (Office Space), so that every once in a while it sounds like Beavis or Hank Hill is somewhere onscreen. There are worse ways to spend 90 minutes.

MPAA: rated PG for for action sequences and brief rude humor

viewed at a private screening with an audience of critics

official site | IMDb
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