Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams (2002) – movie review

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Movie Review by Vivienne Messenger

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Alexa Vega, Daryl Sabara, Cheech Marin

Director: Robert Rodriguez

Carmen (Alexa Vega) and Juni Cortez (Daryl Sabara), the brother and sister spy kids duo, race to an incident at an adventure theme park acting on instructions received from their command centre. Alexandra (Taylor Momsen) the fickle, spoilt daughter of the President is marooned (by her own deliberate sabotage) at the top of one of the white knuckle, thrill seeking amusement rides. All Alexandra wants is some attention from her father, who’s always busy with his presidential duties, so she stole a secret device – a ‘transmook’ – from him before she left for the amusement park tour with her squad of personal bodyguards. Her ploy is short-lived as Juni and Carmen begin their rescue only to be outmanoeuvred by the arrival of another brother and sister spy kid team, Gary (Matthew O’Leary) and Gerti Giggles (Emily Osment). The rivalry between the sibling spy kids teams forms a central theme throughout the movie and causes Carmen and Juni Cortez to usurp their rivals to complete a mission awarded to the other spy kids team.

Thus they arrive armed with their state of the art gadgetry on a volcanic island, home to a reclusive professor, Romero (Steve Buscemi), who has been experimenting with some creatures and created some strange, mutated animals that now roam the island and have made it their natural habitat.

But the other spy kids team is in hot pursuit as are the Cortez parents (Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino – both excellent) and grandparents (Ricardo Montalban and Holland Taylor) who realise there is far more danger (of the world threatening kind) to this mission than meets the eye.

So will this sequel to SPY KIDS live up to expectations? Yes, definitely. The film effortlessly picks up from SPY KIDS and the abundance of high tech gadgetry and futuristic flying craft at their disposal all help to enthral the audience, and will certainly entertain the kids and parents-in-tow. It is good light entertainment, well paced with comical interludes and the acting throughout is quite stylised but really works.

Alexa Vega gives an outstanding performance and really shines in SPY KIDS 2. She is so talented that I hope we will be seeing her in many more roles. It was also good to see Cheech Marin (FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, which Robert Rodriguez directed) and Danny Trejo (FROM DUSK TILL DAWN 2) both in the movie. Robert Rodriguez also wrote SPY KIDS 2: THE ISLAND OF LOST DREAMS and delivers another great movie – does this man’s talent know no bounds?

Don’t miss this one it’s great fun – I would love a R.A.L.P.H. as well – one of those personal robots to help me through the day. Gimme, gimme!

4 out of 6 stars