Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003) – movie review

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Movie Review by Vivienne Messenger

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Alexa Vega, Daryl Sabara, Ricardo Montalban

Director: Robert Rodriguez

Having a 5 year-old son who’s an avid fan of the first two SPY KIDS movies – watched countless times – I entered the preview screening with much trepidation particularly as the audience have been issued with special viewing glasses to fully appreciate the 3-D techniques interwoven into the film. Would this third dimension really captivate us and would the 3-D effects really work or detract from the movie?

From the opening scene where Floop (Alan Cumming) explains to the audience when to wear the special viewing glasses the exceptionally talented Robert Rodriguez – director/writer/producer/original music composer/editor – has really set himself a new standard. This is the best SPY KIDS movie to date. The attention to ‘futuristic’ detail on the 3-D cinematic experience, the story, the gadgets, the monsters, the racing vehicles… is mind-boggling and an immensely enjoyable, rewarding and totally entertaining experience.

The third mission unfolds when Juni (Daryl Sabara), now in business for himself, is contacted by control, Cesca Giggles (Salma Hayek), at the Spy Kids agency when his sister Carmen (Alexa Vega) is ‘lost’ on a mission. Lying in a state of suspended animation at the agency’s headquarters Juni is sent in to retrieve her from the virtual reality world of a 3-D video game which she is now trapped in. Enlisting the help of his wheelchair-bound grandfather (Ricardo Montalban) soon after he enters this virtual reality world, Juni must now battle through increasingly difficult levels of the game as he strives to overcome and outmanoeuvre various challenges summoning all his strength of mind and body to save the world from a power hungry villian known as Toymaker (Sylvester Stallone).

The ensemble cast in addition to those already mentioned includes many regulars from previous SPY KIDS movies – Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo, Bill Paxton and Tony Shalhoub – as well as George Clooney returning as Devlin again from the original SPY KIDS movie and Elijah Wood who all give first class performances. And if you’re worried about the protracted use of the special viewing glasses or that they will be too fiddley – don’t be.

Don’t rush out and miss the outtakes playing over the end credits and listen out also for the very talented Alexa Vega performing the song Game Over on a thumpingly brilliant soundtrack that matches the intense virtual reality environment perfectly.

6 out of 6 stars