As lopsided as that track record may be, it’s hard to fault Rodriqguez for wanting to make movies for his kids, or even work with his kids, as they’ve often been the ones to come up with these stories. The quality may be suspect, as these are solely aimed at a young audience, but the director does still manage to keep some of his trademark ingenuity and creativity. (Remember all the Harryhausen influences of SPY KIDS 2?)
That being said, there’s really nothing in SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD for adults at all. It’s inherently silly and pandering to children, filled with wisecracking dogs, pranks on adults, and an almost unending supply of bathroom humor. I’m all for a well-placed fart joke, but here there’s butt bombs, baby farts, blue cheese and diaper bombs aplenty. The spy kids even use bags full of puke to ward off bad guys. And lest we forget that Rodriguez presented this movie in 4D “Aromascope,” which makes all those bodily fluids so much more heinous.
Even the sight of Jessica Alba in a tight leather spy outfit is soon ruined for adults everywhere. Alba goes full-on mommy mode in this movie, losing any sex appeal she might’ve had in exchange for a baby sling and diaper bag. (I don’t know if I can look at Nancy the same way in SIN CITY after seeing Alba chase down bad guys while going in to labor). Joel McHale, who I love on “The Soup” and “Community,” gets away a little cleaner, mainly since he’s not in the movie as much and when he is he plays the children’s father with his usual sarcastic personality. Original spy kids Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara also return to help train the newsbies, along with Jeremy Piven playing double duty as the villainous Tick Tock and the head of OSS. However, the biggest name for me was Ricky Gervais, who provides the voice of Argonaut the robotic dog. Yes, Gervais plays a robot dog. He’s actually pretty funny, clearly realizing how silly it all is and going over the top with all the bad canine jokes (i.e. peeing oil and pooping bombs).
Even when it’s being eye-rollingly dumb (like Alba taking her baby with her on dangerous missions or McHale using his Spytracker), I can see how SPY KIDS 4 would really work for its intended audience. If I was a little kid, I would love this live action cartoon/video game take on mini-James Bond.
Deleted Scenes (8:12): Six exta segments, including some fun in a gadget lab featuring an extended scene with Danny Trejo and a much needed explanation of the spy tracker.
Robert Rodriguez Interview with Kid Reporter (6:58): A young child does a pretty good job throwing questions at the director. Obviously not too in depth, but maybe fun for kids to watch.
Spy Kids: Passing the Torch (7:59): Former stars Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara reminisce on their days as a spy children and talk about handing off the series to a new batch of kids, while current actors Rowan Blanchard and Mason Cook talk about receiving said torch.
Rowan and Mason's Video Diary (4:52): A first hand look at the two young actors experience shooting the film.
How to Make a Robotic Dog (3:46): A quick look at how you balance a fake robot dog and a real live dog during filming.
Ricky Gervais as Argonaut (4:20): Gervais talks about playing the dog and of course joking around the whole time (i.e. method acting). Rodriguez talks about writing with him in mind, even though clearly a lot of it was adlibbed.
Spy Gadgets (3:51): Another quick featurette about all the tools used by the spy kids.
Extra Tidbit: Did you know Taylor Lautner played Sharkboy in LAVAGIRL AND SHARKBOY? Or that I once got food poisoning from Robert Rodriguez’s taco truck at Comic Con? (And no, that did not affect my review of this movie.)