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Spy Kids

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Spy Kids

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Rated: PG
RunTime: 93 Minutes
Release Date: March 2001
Genres: Action, Kids

*Also starring: Alexa Vega, Daryl Sabara, Alan Cumming, Teri Hatcher, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo, Tony Shalhoub, Robert Patrick, Mike Judge

Review by Susan Granger
3 stars out of 4

The family that spies together, stays together. That's the homespun philosophy behind this fantasy that pairs two "retired" spies with their unsuspecting children in a rousing adventure. It all begins with the Cortez kids, 8 year-old Juni (Daryl Sabara) and 12 year-old Carmen (Alexa Vega), listening to their favorite bedtime story, "The Two Spies Who Fell In Love," which reveals, through flashbacks, how their parents (Carla Gugino, Antonio Banderas) met and married. The Cortezes are now "consultants" but eagerly jump back into action when former associates mysteriously disappear. But their past still mystifies their squabbling siblings who protest, "Our parents can't be secret agents. They're not cool enough!" However, after a hasty trip down a hidden passageway to an escape pod that becomes a submarine, not only are Carmen and Juni convinced, but they're propelling the action, rescuing their parents from the evil clutches of Fegan Floop, a TV kiddie-show host (Alan Cumming, resembling Pee-Wee Herman), and his Floogle army of robotic children and Gumby-like "thumb-thumbs." Innovative, imaginative film-maker Roberto Rodriguez ("Desperado,""From Dusk Till Dawn") creates empowered junior James Bonds, wide-eyed with delight at their wacky, Willie Wonka-like gadgetry, while fostering pride in Hispanic culture. Teri Hatcher, Tony Shaloub and Cheech Marin head the supporting cast - with a quirky George Clooney cameo and groovy music. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, the PG-rated "Spy Kids" is a fast-paced, family-friendly 7. You can bet your electroshock bubble gum that, given the proper marketing, this could develop into a formidable franchise.

Copyright 2001 Susan Granger

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