Allow me to begin by saying that I never saw any of the previous Spy Kids flicks. When the first one came out I was 21 and when the third one came out, I was 23, single and still very much childless. I am not the target audience. As an indie filmmaker myself (currently in pre-production of my first feature film submission for Sundance), I am, of course, a fan of Robert Rodriguez. His story, I hope, may someday be mine. A man with no money but vision and determination who forces the big Hollywood machine to shut up and take notice. Now, having said that, I must now say this: Robert Rodriguez has very much pimped himself out to the Hollywood beaurocracy he once scoffed at. Robert, if you're reading this, please hand in your indie card and allow El Mariachi to go out of print, because you ain't that dude any more.
Spy Kids: All the Time in the World isn't a remake or reboot OR sequel. It's more of a cash grab, and it's not really all that shy about it. Basically, this is pretty much the same story as the first, setting the stage for a different set of kids who find out their parents (or in this case, just the mother Jessica Alba) are spies and one thing leads to another and the kids end up being "Spy Kids." The movie certainly doesn't score any points for believability.
The acting is all over-the-top, which is to be expected from a kid's adventure movie. Where over-the-top acting and one-liners seems out of place, bland and horrifying in a more serious franchise (Batman and Robin, I'm looking at you), it is right at home in this 90 minute Nickelodeon adventure where the lead actors are under 12. So I would call the acting spot-on for what the film is.
The biggest dissapointment for me was the so-called 4th dimension "Aroma-Scope" (don't even get me started on the fact that smell is NOT a dimension), which was the cheapest kind of stunt the gimmick grabbing Rodriguez could ever have come up with. This is not like those amusement park theaters where Boots opens a banana in the Dora movie and the air fills with the scent of a bananna. Oh no, that would be too fulfilling to the audience and too much worth our money. Instead, patrons are handed cardboard scratch and sniff cards with numbers on them which correspond with nuumbers flashed on the screen during certain scenes. I wouldn't say I was disappointed as I would say I felt cheated, betrayed and lied to. After sitting through this 90 minutes of half-assed work, I hope Robert Rodriguez never gets a job directing another movie ever again.
I will end this review with a simple request. If I ever make it as a filmmaker and ever deliver a bonafide sell-out and gimmick-filled crapfest that spits in the faces of up and coming guerilla filmmakers who look up to me, I ask that you find me, shoot me in the face and spit on my slowly dying person. You have my full permission to do so.
Will Conservatives Like This Movie?
No one will like this movie. My 5-year-old was bored with the lack of story and even he thought the scratch and sniff cards were stupid. However, there is more for conservatives to be concerned about than just a horrible movie. One of the main themes of the film is for kids to be accepting of step-parents (what I'm about to say is absolutely nit-picking, but I'm throwing everything I have at this movie), thereby furthering the undermining of the American family unit. Look, I understand parents get divorced and remarried, and that today the step-parent is a part of the family unit. But shouldn't we be helping kids learn the core family values this nation was built on instead of just telling them that this liberal way is the way life should work?
(As I said, I'm nit-picking and I know it, but I hate this movie so much that it gets no understanding from me.)