US Release Date: 03-30-2001
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez
- Antonio Banderas, as
- Gregorio Cortez
- Carla Gugino, as
- Ingrid Cortez
- Alexa Vega, as
- Carmen Cortez
- Daryl Sabara, as
- Juni Cortez
- Alan Cumming, as
- Fegan Floop
- Tony Shalhoub, as
- Alexander Minion
- Teri Hatcher, as
- Ms. Gradenko
- Robert Patrick, as
- Mr. Lisp
- George Clooney, as
- Cheech Marin, as
- Felix Gumm
- Danny Trejo as
Carla Gugino, Antonio Banderas, Daryl Sabara and Alexa Vega in Spy Kids.
Spy Kids is one of those movies that as an adult you really have to allow your imagination out. Children love this movie and enjoy all the unrealistic action and supposed suspense. However, us adults may have to find our inner child to appreciate what this movie is about.
Much like Home Alone, this movie thrives on the notion of children out smarting adults. Within minutes of coming across highly technical "spy equipment" these kids are able to use them like seasoned pro's. They fly a plane, scuba dive and set Terri Hatcher's hair on fire. (a joke that really wasn't funny to me) but my kids laughed.
The brother and sister's parents, who were formerly secret agents, get abducted by a baddie who dresses and sings like Willy Wonka. He plans to turn them into hideous characters for his TV show. Yeah its as preposterous as it sounds, but remember, its a kids movie. The brother and sister attempt to rescue their parents and thus all the wonderful action sequence your children will enjoy.
The movie has one very good note for parents. This is a very pro family movie. Perhaps even a bit to heavy handed. In one scene the daughter looks right at George Clooney, in a brief cameo, and gives a quick statement about how hard it is to keep a family together.
This is your children's James Bond movie. (particularly the Roger Moore ones.)
Daryl Sabara and Alexa Vega are Spy Kids.
My brothers and I began this movie review website back in 2000. I find it fascinating to watch movies now that came out during the first few years of this site’s existence. It really puts the passing years in perspective. Spy Kids is one such movie. It was released just 10 months after Three Movie Buffs went live on the internet and some five months before the attacks on the World Trade Center. Who knew at the time that the spring and summer of 2001 would mark the end of an era?
As Eric wrote this is a children’s adventure fantasy where the kids get to save the day. Although they are few and far between it does offer a few tidbits for adults, such as the opening montage sequence set in exotic locales around the globe showing how Gregorio and Ingrid first met. They were rival spies sent to kill each other but who ended up falling in love.
Spy Kids was one of the first mainstream Hollywood movies to center around a Latin-American family, the Cortez’. It even features a few lines spoken in Spanish like the scene where Carmen and Juni’s robot doubles fly away with fire streaming from their feet and a boy on the playground points and yells, "¡Yo quiero los zapatos como esos!" Translation: “I want shoes like that!”
Yes the plot is incredibly goofy and there is never any actual tension or sense of danger, but it is brief enough and fast–paced enough to hold a child’s attention without making adults suffer unduly. For the record I laughed when Teri Hatcher’s hair caught on fire. This movie was popular enough that it already spawned two sequels while Spy Kids 4 is currently filming.
Photos © Copyright Dimension Films (2001)