Spy Kids 2: The Island Of Lost Dreams
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Spy Kids Carmen (Alexa Vega) and Juni (Daryl Sabara) are back, and this time they have to rescue the president's daughter from an island full of creature controlled by mad scientist Romero (Setev Buscemi).
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I'm not a fan of the SPY KIDS franchise. I get that they're kids films, and that Robert Rodriguez made them to bond with his own children, but as I was nineteen when the first one hit theaters a full decade ago (wow), these films were never in my wheelhouse.
SPY KIDS 2 came out only a year after the first film, and the most noteworthy thing about it is that, along with ATTACK OF THE CLONES, it was the first film to be shot digitally with Red One. That camera revolutionized the business, as in the years leading up to it's creation, digital films always looked like garbage. The Red One showed that it could look as good as 35mm, and within a few years, it got to the point where the majority of films are now shot digitally.
However, SPY KIDS 2 hasn't aged all that well, with the green work looking absolutely archaic, and the CGI, which was never that good to begin with, looks pretty atrocious- although Rodgriguez' candy-colored visuals make up for this a bit. I also like the Ray Harryhausen inspired critters on Buscemi's island, but doing them in CGI misses the point somewhat.
Pretty much the only saving grace is the cast. Vega and Sabara are both quite good, and Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino seem to be having a blast (with Gugino three years away from being turned into a sex symbol with SIN CITY). I also got a kick out of Buscemi's manic performance and seeing Ricardo Montalban pop up as the grandfather. BEAVIS & BUTTHEAD fans may also enjoy Mike Judge as one of the villains, with him even using his patented Beavis laugh in a few scenes.
For a kids movie, most of the extras seem geared towards Rodriguez's grown-up fans. First is an audio commentary with Rodriguez being a great listen as always. The 10 minute film school featurettes that were a staple of his films back when this was made is also included- as it was on the original DVD. Next up, the A New Kind Of Stunt Kid featurette, examining the kids, and how they participated in the on-screen mayhem (hint- lots of green screen). Several deleted, or lost scenes are included, but seem to be in pretty rough shape, having been transferred non-anamorphically off the old DVD. Amazing how much technology has advanced. There's also a music video , School at Big Bend National Park , The Gadgets of Spy Kids , Behind the scenes montages, and a vintage Making Of which is basically an EPK. Finally, we get the trailers .
This is really only for the hard-core SPY KIDS fans, who either grew up with the films, or having kiddies of their own, who- more than likely, will dig the hell out of these films. At least this one isn't in 3D, or, God forbid, 4D.