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--This movie has a lot of energy, and kicks heaps of ass. The action sequences are a lot of fun, extremely original and well constructed. I got more involved in the action in this film than I did in the original. We get some good martial arts scenes; the essential gadget fights and even a sword-fight with skeletons. And if never looks dumb - I loved it all!

--Another place that "Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams" improves on the original is with its humour. It isn't as slapstick here. I loved the little movie references (especially the one to the Lord of the Rings trilogy) and there was also some great physical comedy, especially during the scenes on the sea.

--It was a joy to watch more imaginative ideas and intriguing new gadgets unfold in front of my eyes. I loved seeing what director/writer Robert Rodriguez came up with next and he indeed has heaps of neat concepts for spy technology.

--The kids in the film are actually very good actors. They have physical roles and perform them very well. Alexa Vega is neat as Carmen; she has a great charm with the role. Daryl Sabara has more to do this time round and his character gets more likeable, probably thanks to his more charismatic performance. Emily Osment was as cute as a whistle and had the required comedic talent to boot, I loved her sarcastic performance during the bird nest scene. Taylor Momsen also gave an acceptable show, I liked her a lot which is a big surprise since she was one of the worst elements about 2000's "How the Grinch Stole Christmas".


--Of course this movie is cheesy, but sometimes it just goes far too over-the-top. The battle with the monsters is a silly idea in theory and it looks silly too, and has a number of horrible lines, mostly coming from the annoying Matt O'Leary. There are also some cheesy special effects that bothered me slightly, but nothing major.

--The story with the adults wasn't as interesting with the kids. I found myself annoyed that I wasn't watching Juni and Carmen when their Gregorio and Ingrid came onscreen, as well as those God-awful grandparents.

--Though a lot of the humour is great (see THE GOOD), "Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams" still has a couple of those annoying and unfunny kiddie jokes, with poos, wees and smelly feet. These are made more noticeable by the rest of the humour being so likeable.


7/10 - Though it does have a few flaws, this sequel is none-the-less a big improvement on the first film. "Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams" is a creative, cool film that, despite what some may say, all ages will enjoy (I was watching with some teens and a couple of adults who liked it as much as I did).


The Animal (3/10)
The Emperor's New Groove (7/10)
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (3/10)
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (9/10)
Spy Kids (5/10)
Signs was a frightening, but ultimately unsatisfying, film.

Eight Legged Freaks has Kari Wuhrer in it, but it doesn't have much else to go with it.

Spy Kids 2 has so many things wrong with it, it's difficult to begin.

XXX with Vin Diesel is loud and pretty pointless.

Steven Soderbergh's little experiment with a digital camera in Full Frontal fails miserably.
2 and a half stars
comments: In my opinion this spy kids series is geting old really fast the first one was good but this seems alot like the first one
Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams is an excellent children's movie.

When I started watching it, I was skeptical. I remember both Ebert and Roeper liked it to the point of putting it high on their "best of the year" lists, but I still couldn't believe that this kids movie was all that good. I myself thought the third one - the only one I'd seen up to this point - was average at best, so I didn't know. But as I watched this thing, I really got into it, and had to give it a ten by the time it was done. It's a really fun movie, and doesn't get enough credit, I don't think.

The movie is about the two spy kids, Carmen and Junie, trying to clear Junie's name after Junie gets blamed for the theft of the "transmooker device," the most powerful cloaking device in the world, from the U.S. government. To that end, the two spy kids go to the island fortress of its inventor, where they think it has been taken (or something like that), and discover that the island is covered with overgrown monsters, booby traps, and hidden treasure. They're opposed by a rival spy family (headed by Mike Judge, of all people), including two other spy kids, who follow them and try to get the device for themselves.

There are a lot of different ways to talk about the greatness of this film, which come down to technique and effectiveness as a kids' movie. As far as technique goes, what I remember moving Roger Ebert so much was the visuals of this movie, and I have to say, they're absolutely stunning. Not only is the production design beautiful (and Rodriguez did it himself), but the special effects are used in such a way that it absolutely enhances the wonder that is the kids' fantasy of this movie. I mentioned the Middle East in The Exorcist (1973, William Friedkin) and Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981, Steven Spielberg) as being a personal visual bias on my part, but it's not so much the Middle East, but the open and airy quality that it has that appeals to me so much. Skies are blue, and everything looks so free and fun that it appeals to your childlike desire to explore (there's a reason why I live in Southern California), and the island in this movie is just that and then some. But more than that, it's full of things that kids love. Dinosaurs, like in Jurassic Park (1993, Spielberg), living skeletons straight out of Jason and the Argonauts (1963, Don Chaffey) - it's like everything good about special effects is on this island, and the kids get to play with all of it. And the story itself is such a kids' story - they get to play grown ups - spies, no less, with all kinds of gadgets and fun vehicles, that they personally get to drive, in a seamless reality in a story about family. That's the theme of these Spy Kids movies - unlike these stupid Home Alone (John Hughes, 1990) imitation "trick the stupid parents" films we're used to seeing, these kids are part of a loving family, and are all about helping them. What a wonderful lesson to teach in a fun way! It also doesn't fall into the kids movie trap of actually being for adults, with jokes that go over a child's head by using camp, not winks to the audience, for humor (I physically laughed a lot listening to the President emphasize that we're DOOMED if the transmooker device isn't found, to the point of sticking his head into a frame he was out of just to say that). As I mentioned before, camp is difficult to pull off in and of itself, but using it as a substitute for self-reflexive humor in order to make parents, as well as kids, enjoy a movie, that's genius. (Even more briliant, as I mentioned, is that the self-reflexivity is there, it's just for other film geeks, not idiot parents) And most importantly, this film fits beautifully into Rodriguez's auteurism in that like all of his other films, it's about Hispanics and is visually stunning. As a mainstream filmmaker, I think Rodriguez will do more to further the cause of Latino representation in Hollywood than his indie counterparts. And the best way to effect change is to get 'em when they're young, which this film does.

Spy Kids 2 is an excellent kids' fantasy, beautifully made from a visual standpoint, and tightly controlled, as all of the great directors do. It's imaginitive, creative, and shows that Robert Rodriguez is no joke. I couldn't be more pleasantly surprised.
a Good Spy Sequal!!
Another Weekly Movie Review: Mean Girls & Spy Kids 2.

Mean Girls: 8.5/10:fresh:

The big problem I had was the special effects, the fakeness was pretty high in this one, not as high as SK3, but still high. You can really tell when it was fake, even your first time watching the movie, wich really degraded it for me.

Rent or Buy: Rent, but if you have kids good to buy to keep them entertained, but the first one is still the best one.
Best in Show: Alexa Vega
One for the future: Alexa Vega
Stand-out scene: Fairground opening scene
Brainer or no-brainer: No brainer
Stands up to one viewing or repeated?: Repeated
DVD commentary any good?: n/a

Having seen and enjoyed the first Spy Kids movie I was eager to finally get around to seeing its sequel (i've had both movies on disc since Christmas). This instalment, subtitled The Island of Lost Dreams maintains the quality of its predecessor, the action getting underway immediately with the assumption that the viewer has seen the original. That the Spy Kids franchise is now on its third movie is indicative of the success of the trilogy. With the Spy Kids network now established, Juni and Carmen have two rivals for the role of top spy duo in Gary and Gerti Giggles. When the Giggles' father is appointed as head of the adult spy organisation, his progeny are charged with the most important assignment going; that of investigating the technology on a remote island where the human population is one; Romero (Steve Buscemi). Juni and Carmen however, hack into the organisation's computer and take over the assignment themselves, finding Romero hiding in an underground lair after creating a Jurassic Park style island of oversized mutant creatures. It's the cloaking device that Romero has developed to keep the location of the Island a secret however that's the object of Giggles senior's interest in the island, which leads to a face-off between the Giggles clan and the Cortez extended family (grandma and grandpops also get in on the act). Once again the gadgets and gizmos on show are a big draw and you find yourself appreciating the non-annoying Cortez kids more when they're placed alongside the Giggles brats. Rodriguez goes from strength to strength.

Here's another film rating.
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