Sunday, October 24, 2010

Game over


I didn't see Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over in the theater. I am resistant to anaglyph 3-D and just didn't have the energy to make the exception for that one, despite enjoying its predecessors a lot.

I think Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams and The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl are masterpieces of "child storytelling"... You know, "... and he's also a member of a secret society of cowboy ninjas and did I mention he has claws from hands, but they're retractable..."

I'm currently studying this, although more in how he's successfully translated that to more "adult" movies, such as Planet Terror and Machete, because I think it's a wonderful way to tell stories. I think that enthusiasm and joy in the details is something we too often lose as adults watching movies and getting caught up in what "makes sense" and other high fallutin' bologna.

Now with Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World in production around town, the lovely Kimberly Rae works at Lucy in Disguise and helped its star Jessica Alba find a Halloween costume. She said she was very sweet and kind of shy, which some others mean-spiritedly took as stuck up.

It will be just as well that this appears to be a reboot of the series, although I'll miss Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara. I think where Game Over works best is as sweet wrap-up of these characters and their lives as "spy kids". The movie focuses on Sabara's character Juni to an extent I can't help wondering if Vega wasn't available.

The great Ricardo Montalbán is delightful as the kid's grandfather, although the script has little idea what to do with him through most of it. Although that could symbolize how it seems the whole movie is, a terrific idea - kids trapped in a video game that could take over their minds - and a wonderful and heart-warming climax that makes a person feel even better than before about spending their time with the series - but not sure how to get through it.

I get the impression that it didn't satisfy a lot of other adults, but I really think Sharkboy and Lavagirl takes what didn't work in the midsection of this movie and turned it into something much better in itself.

The joie de vivre and warm, but not saccharine, family message, along with a nearly unique successful comedy performance by Sylvester Stallone, mean it will have a nice place on my shelf for when the tummy monster - or "fetus", if you prefer - is old enough to enjoy things stuff like this with its dorky old dad.


2 comments:

Kid Sis said...

Very cool review! makes me want to rent it :)

Neil Sarver said...

Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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