Super-spies Gregorio (Antonio Banderas) and Ingrid (Carla Guigino) have given up their lives of intrigue and adventure in order to raise their children Carmen (Alexa Vega) and Juni (Daryl Sabara). But Gregorio has invented a special artificial brain, and sinister super-villain Fegan Floop (Alan Cumming) needs this brain in order to bring his army of robots to life and complete his plans for world domination. So Floop kidnaps Gregorio and Ingrid, leaving it up to the kids Carmen and Juni to come to the rescue. Thus they embark upon an adventure which involves rocket planes, remote-control submarines, electric chewing gum, and robot dopplegangers, as they advance towards Floop's secret headquarters, ready to save both their parents and the liberty of the free world.
is a James Bond adventure for wee ones, with all the trimmings. This affable fantasy begins with Carmen and Juni Cortez soon to find out that their favourite bedtime story, "The Spies Who Fell in Love", is really the story of their parents. When Dad and Mom (Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino) mess up their first mission after coming out of retirement, their kids must come to the rescue, equipped with some cool gadgets. The Cortez family gets involved in a bizarre plot hatched by a Pee-wee Herman-type entertainer named Fegan Floop (a wonderfully hammy Alan Cumming) that's as giddy as it is ridiculous. Needless to say there is plenty of derring-do concerning long-lost uncles, goofy monsters, double agents, evil robots, look-alikes, and energised chases. Did we mention the gadgets? Although Banderas and Gugino make terrific impressions, the movie is carried (as it should be) by the younger Cortezes, winningly played by Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara. Who would have thought an action/horror studio (Dimension) and writer-director Robert Rodriquez had this pleasing family film u p their sleeves? Rodriquez (who produced with his wife Elizabeth Avellán) seemed to be mired in cheesy horror films but here breaks out by capitalising on the talent that gave him instant status with his debut, El Mariachi
(1992). Spy Kids
has plenty of verve but never swerves into potty humour (OK, there is one good potty joke) or wicked gunplay. All 7-year-olds should have a film as fun as this in their film-going lives. --Doug Thomas, Amazon.com