danheller.com

Thumb Rating System
Full List of Movies
You Are Here:  Movie Reviews  >  Spy Kids 3D

Dan Heller's Movie Review of Spy Kids: 3D 'Game Over'


This page has 3 images
Click to recommend this page:
magnifier.gif
Carmen and juni with bi gc la w
carmen and juni, spy kids, movies, photograph
Link To Movies/film-ratings.html Link To Movies/film-ratings.html Get your little ones ready for the game of their lives, cuz "Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over" will tickle their little bitty funny bones. This third installment of the popular "Spy Kids" series is like its predecessors in that it's high-tech, high-energy, high-fun, and high on the pro-family moral messages. What's more, it's in 3D, which requires disposable glasses, handed out at the theater. On the downside, the Spy Kids theme seems worn out, the actors have out-grown their roles, and the strong family-values messages are disingenuous and schmaltzy. In short, the cow's been milked for all its got.

But, anyway, back to the fun.

In this new adventure, Juni and Carmen Cortez find themselves on a mission to stop the release of a virtual-reality video game, aptly titled, "Game Over". It is purported to be the best video game ever, and lines outside toy stores are growing around the country. But, the ISS has learned that the infamous "level five" captures the mind of the player, entrapping him eternally within the game. The threat, of course, is that "The Toymaker", played by Sylvester Stallone, is really out to control the minds of our youth, and thus, our future.

magnifier.gif
Stallone
stallone, spy kids, movies, photograph
It turns out that The Toymaker himself is already entrapped in the game, so the only way to stop him is to actually play it. The movie begins when Juni, eager to be an "independent PI" at the age of 10, is called back to duty to the ISS to enter the game and find his sister Carmen, who had already tried to invade it, but was suspended in level 4. Juni catches up to her with the dubious help of a few experienced beta test players, who are determined to reach the 5th level on their own.

The true essence of the film is to simply show the video game, and with the 3D glasses, the 80% of the screen time that game consumes is definitely fun and worth the ride. The funny thing is, "Spy Kids 3D" makes no attempts to hide the fact that the only reason for the film is to show game. To wit, the plot points are meaningless, even to the point where the script itself acknowledges it: Juni asks why the Toymaker is caught in the game, and the answer is a humorous hand-wave, "Oh, it just happens." The plot and characters are hurriedly scooted along to the start of the game, which then goes on and on and on, till the end, when scores of famous cameo appearances pepper the screen, all having fun and making statements about the importance of family, and yada yada yada.

magnifier.gif
Spykids3 (2)
spykids, spy kids, movies, photograph
Oh, it's not that there is anything wrong with such pro-family messages. But conspicuously downplayed are the genuine circumstances and feelings that were the impetus in the first, and best, of the Spy Kids trilogy.

The 3D aspect of the film involves wearing glasses that give depth to the objects on the screen. There are two ways to do this, and unfortunately, Spy Kids 3D uses the old-fashioned way, from the 1950s, where one lens is red and the other blue. The film is shot with the two colors shifted in opposite directions, and depth is perceived by the distance of the shift. Unfortunately, this mutes colors so much, that the beautiful and surreal colors expressed in the digital photography are lost. I can only assume that this was intentional, so as to give the video game its own sense of other-worldliness, which again, was nice.

With all its wild-riding and fun, Spy Kids 3D is just a movie for kids, unlike the first of the series, which was much smarter and hence, enjoyable by adults, too. So, best to drop off the little tykes at the theater with a baby sitter, and go shopping for a while. But, don't buy anything that's red and blue plaid, or your kids just may throw up on you.

You can find this movie on the internet database here: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0338459

Click to recommend this page: