Hello eyestrain! 3-D always was and still is a bad idea for movies. In SPY
KIDS 3-D: GAME OVER, writer/director Robert Rodriguez tries to revive a
series running out of fresh ideas by making it mostly in 3-D. The audience,
especially those who wear glasses, will be happy to hear that a small part
of the film is set in the much more eye-friendly 2-D.
The grief that the movie will give your eyes is the subject of the script's
best joke. At the start of the picture, Fegan Floop (Alan Cumming) explains
to the audience how to know when to put on those ridiculous red-and-green
glasses, which distort the images and colors horribly. Afterwards, he tells
the audience what to do if they want to take a break from staring through
the silly spectacles. He advises them to take off the glasses and head for
the concession stand where the theater will be happy to sell them an extra
large popcorn and soda for only thirty-five dollars!
Basically the entire cast from the first two pictures appears again. The
operative word in the previous sentence is "appears." The movie stars Daryl
Sabara, incorrectly placed fourth in credit order, who repeats his role as
Juni Cortez. Juni's sister, Carmen (Alexa Vega), who is stuck inside a
video game named "Game Over," doesn't even make an appearance until the last
act. Although her screen time is brief, it's more than that of Antonio
Banderas and Carla Gugino, who play the kids' parents. The only other
family member who is featured is the kids' grandfather (Ricardo Montalban),
a wheelchair-bound ex-agent who shows he still has a lot of kick in him.
The actor who consistently steals the show is Sylvester Stallone, who plays
the hilariously evil Toymaker, the controller of the game.
As Juni fights his way through the game in order to find and free his
sister, we find that we don't care. We're way too busy trying to adjust
those ridiculous 3-D glasses so that we can see something. I took mine off
a few times and generally enjoyed the film as much or more during those
times. Looking through the cheap red/green glasses is rather like trying
to enjoy the view through a car with a dirty windshield.
There was one line in the show that did resonate with the parents in our
audience, all of whom laughed knowingly. "Once plugged into the game," one
of the characters remarks, "the parents won't be able to get their kids'
Do the 3-D effects ever add to the film's enjoyment? Never, but they do
detract in almost every scene.
SPY KIDS 3-D: GAME OVER runs 1:25. It is rated PG for "action sequences and
peril" and would be acceptable for all ages.
My son Jeffrey, age 14, gave the picture ** 1/2, complaining that the film
never lived up to its potential and that the 3-D was awful. He enjoyed the
movie but was frustrated by it.
Copyright © 2003 Steve Rhodes