Director: Robert Rodriguez

Starring: Alexa PenaVega, Daryl Sabara, Antonio Banderas, Cara Gugino

Year: 2001

As I explained it politely to my kids so as not to insult the film they just enjoyed, some movies are made for kids, some movies are made for adults, and some movies are made for both.  Spy Kids is definitely a for-children viewing experience, and I can’t imagine a single grownup being able to sit through it until the end.  That it currently has a 7/10 score from MetaCritic blows my effing mind; I thought it was abysmal in every sense of the world.  I’m not knocking kids for enjoying it, that’s why it was made, have a great time, do your thing.  But adults beware; this is the stupidest story you’re likely to see, the worst acting you’ll have to witness, and god help any of you who voluntarily sit down to watch it for the sake of your children.

The Cortez family has spy blood, and that never dies.  Gregorio & Ingrid were both excellent operatives for their respective sides, were tasked with killing each other, but fell in love instead.  They settled down to a normal life, had two kids, and put their spying days behind them.  Well, mostly, with a few side projects to keep them busy.  But when a group of fellow agents go missing, they are back on the job, and have to make a quick getaway from their unsuspecting children in order to save the day.  Carmen & Juni soon discover that their uncool parents are really super sleuths, who unfortunately have already been captured and require rescuing.  So it’s the spy kids on the job, to do what the adults somehow always bungle.

That there are four of these movies is almost unbelievable.  That people watch them is somehow worse.  That Robert Rodriguez directed such crap is insulting to anyone who has watched any of his other fine films.  I dramatize for fun, but really, I strongly disliked this movie and can’t credit there being a following for the franchise.  The story is so ridiculous, like Death to Smoochy but without the cleverness or likability.  The acting is incredibly bad, with the terrible children topping the cake but by no means going it alone.  Banderas, Gugino, Teri Hatcher, Cheech Marin, Robert Patrick, Danny Trejo, George Clooney, Alan Cumming, Mike Judge, Richard Linkllater, Tony Shalhoub; seriously, what were these guys thinking?  I feel alone over here, but I’m so sad that I watched Spy Kids, and I won’t be trying out any of the sequels any time soon.

My rating: ☆