*** Official "SPY KIDS 2: THE ISLAND OF LOST DREAMS" Review Thread

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris, Aug 7, 2002.

  1. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

    Jul 4, 1997
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    Just got back. The film is in the same line as the original, there is clearly a story for both adults and parents. While quirky, the movie keeps good pace, has some great laughs, and was generally enjoyable. Kids will consider it a great film, lots of action (though not too scary) and adults will apreciate the subtle humor and inside jabs.

    The movie seems to really focus on the conflict between technology and magic, and it strikes some good chords there.

    This film is a winner, and deserves to do well (I'm surprised I couldn't find commentary on it in the forum)

    **** / *****
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator

    Dec 9, 1998
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.
    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!
    If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.
  3. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

    Feb 16, 2001
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    Albany, NY
    I liked it alot. I think it's better than the first one simply because the "positive messages" are much more subtle and natural that the original. The whole ending of the first one makes me cringe, because it's too preachy. This one got it's message across but made fit it into the story reasonably. The children were all wonderful actors, too. When you have 5 children leads, you're bound to have a weak link somewhere. Not so. The relationship between Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara is even more natural this time around, and the bickering seems more affectionate than anatagonistic which feels more suitable. (I must add, Alexa has mastered the delivery of getting 'shit' into a PG film, using the very same gag as the first one, recently borrowed in subtitles for 'Goldmember.') Emily Osment has followed in her brother's footsteps in regards to performance quality. In someways, she's better. Haley tends to come off as sort of creepy, where as she brings a genuine charm to the role of Gertie. Taylor Momsen is as good as she was in the live action Grinch, but then she has less to do here. She was the one shining element of Ron Howard's miserable and misguided 'Grinch' adaptation. Matt O'Leary is new to me, but was in 'Frailty' and 'Domestic Disturbance' this year and last year respectively. I haven't seen either, but I know that Frailty was directed by Bill Paxton, who plays the park owner at the beginning of Spy Kids 2, so maybe he put in a good word for Matt. Regardless, O'Leary was fine in the limited role of resident junior prick. Steve Buscemi is solid as always as the gentle mad scientist Romero, who diverges at one point to speak one of the most thoughtful and intruiging lines of dialog this year: "Do you think God stays in heaven because He's afraid of what He's created on Earth?" Overall, his character is a very likable sort of guy who just happened to create the device that will destroy the world. One of the subplots I enjoyed the most was the parent's attempt to save their children. Ingrid (Carla Gugino)'s parents tag along. The interplay between Gregorio (Antonio Banderas) and his inlaws (Hollywood veterans Ricardo Montalban and Holland Taylor) is just hilarious.
    Overall: The most fun I've had at the movies this year.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] out of [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG].
  4. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

    Jun 30, 1997
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    If I were 10 years old, Spy Kids 2 would be my favorite movie ever. As it was, I liked it quite a bit.
    Most of my complaints are ones that kids won't share. From the very beginning, this movie is faster-paced and zanier than the original Spy Kids. All the spy-stuff was beneath the surface in the first, waiting for the kids to uncover it. There was a kind of cool, secret world vibe to it, as Carmen and Juni find out who their parents really are, with a lot of early scenes taking place in familiar environs. That's not the case here; the movie exists in a fantasy world from start to end.
    Still, it's a fun fantasy world. Writer-director-producer-editor-composer-cinematographer-production designer Robert Rodriguez creates a series of colorful and/or Mexican-influenced environments, and fills them with loads of neat gadgets and creatures. He makes good use of his digital photography and effects - he's not really concerned with things looking "real", so long as they look good. The movie looks like a stylized cartoon or comic book, and I'll take this over the photo-realistic but uninteresting Tomb Raiders or Mummy Returnses any day.
    Even better, the people running around the eye candy are a blast. There are five main kid roles, and all five are well-done. Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara return from the first, and they've still got the sibling bickering and affection down pat. Taylor Momsen plays Juni's (girl)friend, the President's daughter, with comic charm (her last scene is a riot). Matt O'Leary and Emily Osment grow on me as rival Spy Kids. I may like Emily even more than her Oscar-nominated big brother; she makes Gertie Giggles likeable and bratty at the same time.
    The grown-ups fare well, too. Steve Buscemi is delightful as a cowardly Dr. Moreau-type, who also gets the chance to wax more philosophical than you might expect in a kids' movie. Carla Gugino and Antonio Banderas are a blast as the senior Cortezes (is Rodriguez the only director in America who realizes that Banderas is as funny as he is sexy?), and Holland Taylor and Ricardo Montalbon are perfectly cast as the Spy Kids' grandparents.
    If Spy Kids 2 has any problem, it's that Rodriguez's mind is overflowing with creativity, and he tries to cram too much into this movie's ninety-minute runtime - even the credits contain two extra scenes (one a complete non sequiter) and outtakes. Is that going to bother kids? Heck, no. Won't bother most grown-ups, either. Spy Kids 3 is already in prep, and I half-wonder why there aren't Spy Kids comics, cartoons, toys, etc. - these are clearly a labor of love for Rodriguez, and it's likely he won't run out of ideas before he's forced into doing Spy Teens (although, clever guy he is, he could probably hold that off a couple of years by making Juni and Gertie parters for SK4&5).
    Recommended for all; highly recommended for kids. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Footnote for Miramax: Of all the previews shown with this one (including Treasure Planet, The Santa Clause 2 and Harry Potter And The Camber Of Secrets), do you know which one got the most enthusiastic response from the rugrats? Shaolin Soccer. Kids are going to eat that movie up; do the right thing and give it a big, wide release (uncut, of course, although I can understand releasing it dubbed in the theaters if kids are going to be a big part of its target audience). You've got a potentially huge hit on your hands; don't screw it up.

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