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Awfully Good: Spy Kids 4D: All the Time in the World

06.03.2015

In searching for the worst spy movies, I was tempted to cover SPY KIDS 3D: GAME OVER this week solely because of Sylvester Stallone's amazing performance, but that movie looks like THE GODFATHER compared to…

Spy Kids 4D: All the Time in the World (2011)

Director: Robert Rodriguez
Stars: Jessica Alba, Joel McHale, Jeremy Piven

 

A retired spy mom must protect her spy kids from a former spy-turned-villain while evading her spy hunter husband before time literally runs out. Spy.

There's the Robert Rodriguez that made DESPERADO, SIN CITY and PLANET TERROR… and then there's the Robert Rodriguez that made SPY KIDS, SHORTS and SHARKBOY AND LAVAGIRL.  As strangely lopsided as that track record may be, it’s hard to fault Rodriqguez for wanting to make movies for his kids, or even with his kids, as they’ve often been the ones coming up with these stories. At the end of the day I can accept that these are not films for me (though I did appreciate all the Harryhausen influences of SPY KIDS 2).


Seth Rogen's Preacher TV show took some creative license with the character of Assface. 

That being said, holy hell, SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD is god-awful, next-level garbage. I don't understand how Robert Rodriguez isn't still cowering in a corner in embarrassment over this. This sequel/reboot is so bad it's bordering on being a parody of itself, filled with wisecracking robot dogs, juvenile jokes (there's a literal "butthead" visual gag), and an almost unending supply of bathroom humor. Trust me, I’m all for a well-placed fart joke, but here there are "butt bombs" and pee traps, a baby that constantly sharts, kids using bags full of barf as aerial weapons, and diaper bombs (somehow different from "butt bombs") that explode human excrement on bad guys. That's horrifying enough, until you remember that Rodriguez presented this movie in 4D “Aromascope,” which forced audiences to smell everything that was happening. This just went from a bad kids movie to a full-on human rights violation. 


No one ever leaves a Smurf orgy without a least a little regret.

And let it be official: SPY KIDS 4 marks the end of Jessica Alba as a sex symbol. In the film, Alba plays a secret agent moonlighting as an interior decorator trying to juggle a new baby with her new step kids. 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 or saying the line "She made two poopies today!" And I definitely will have a hard time taking Alba serious as an actress after watching her spout off a bad one-liner as she slowly puts little sunglasses on the infant strapped to her chest. Dammit, Rodriguez…

 
I use this spoon to eat…

 
…The Soup.

Community's Joel McHale plays the children’s father and Alba's new husband—perhaps one of the most ludicrous characters ever. McHale works as a wannabe reality star trying to film a show called Spy Hunter, where he tracks down and exposes spies on live TV… all the while not knowing he's married to one! I shit you not, at one point in the movie, McHale pulls out a device called a Spy Tracker that uses GPS to point him in the direction of nearby undercover operatives. This really happens and is the plot device used to expose Alba as a spy. That's how lazy this movie is. 

 
This frame represents the entirety of Danny Trejo's role in this film.

Original spy kids Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara return to help train the newbies and showcase clips from the original trilogy. (Danny Trejo returns as well for literally one random shot of the movie.) There's also ENTOURAGE star Jeremy Piven playing double duty as the squeaky-voiced villain Tick Tock and the head of the main spy organization. (Gee, I wonder if that's a coincidence…) However, you'll be most excited to know that British comic Ricky Gervais provides the voice of Argonaut the robotic dog. Yes, David Brent plays a robot dog who farts when you pull his paw and shits explosives when you pull his tail. Gervais is clearly adlibbing most of his dialogue, which can lead to the occasional funny bit of sarcasm, but is still mostly painful. (Such as the dog beating up bad guys and then quipping, "Someone put that on YouTube!")

 
Ironically, the Timekeeper didn't have time to make a better costume.

I'm hesitant to even touch on the overall plot because it's so nonsensical, but basically there's a villain that wears a clock on his head who is speeding up time in order to teach the world a valuable lesson about taking every moment for granted. (You can imagine the heavy-handed message about family and togetherness that results.) But basically this is a movie where the hero continually brings her infant daughter on dangerous missions and straps her to her chest like an adorable human shield. Keep your kids far away.

 
According to federal law, every copy of the Blu-Ray comes with this.

Bad one-liners and the best from Ricky Gervais' robot dog.

From butt bombs to baby fu, a collection of the most amazingly bad action scenes.

None. Though it's a little disturbing how much Alexa Vega has grown up.


Hate children? Buy this movie here!

Take a shot or drink every time:
  • A time-related pun is made
  • A kid pulls a prank
  • A baby farts
  • Ricky Gervais makes a dog joke
  • Scatological humor is employed
Double shot if:
  • Someone solves an anagram

Thanks to Kevin and MK for suggesting this week's movie!

Seen a movie that should be featured on this column? Shoot Jason an email or follow him on Twitter and give him an excuse to drink.

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Extra Tidbit: I once got food poisoning from Robert Rodriguez’s taco truck at Comic Con. And that was still a more pleasant experience than this movie.
Source: JoBlo.com

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4:50PM on 06/03/2015

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2:30PM on 06/03/2015
1/10
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12:28PM on 06/03/2015

Never saw this...

But watching the clips was awesome. I used to teach a video class for elementary school students. I taught them all the basics of making a movie from creating the story to writing the script to casting to shooting and editing. These are the kind of ideas those kids would come up with. They love this weird goofy stuff. Poop humor, gross out humor, silly talking dogs and one-liners. Kid's imaginations are incredible, even though extremely silly. I love the fact that R.R. is doing something
But watching the clips was awesome. I used to teach a video class for elementary school students. I taught them all the basics of making a movie from creating the story to writing the script to casting to shooting and editing. These are the kind of ideas those kids would come up with. They love this weird goofy stuff. Poop humor, gross out humor, silly talking dogs and one-liners. Kid's imaginations are incredible, even though extremely silly. I love the fact that R.R. is doing something like that for kids on a grander scale. These movies aren't for people like me. They're for kids, and I think that's great.
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2:33PM on 06/03/2015
Please, read the comments section in the article about Shyamalan defending THE LAST AIRBENDER.
Please, read the comments section in the article about Shyamalan defending THE LAST AIRBENDER.
2:58PM on 06/03/2015
Its a different perspective Vits. I can understand why movies like this are made. They make kids happy. If you don't like it, that's your opinion. Throwing a Shyamalan Airbender crack at me isn't going to change my opinion. It certainly isn't gonna change my students imaginations, or all kids for that matter.
Its a different perspective Vits. I can understand why movies like this are made. They make kids happy. If you don't like it, that's your opinion. Throwing a Shyamalan Airbender crack at me isn't going to change my opinion. It certainly isn't gonna change my students imaginations, or all kids for that matter.
3:36PM on 06/03/2015
It wasn't a crack. I really wanted you to read it because a lot of users say what's wrong with movies dumbed down for kids. I'm glad your students have imagination because that can turn into creativity when they get older, but that's not going to help them in life if they're also being talked down by patronizing movies like this. By the way, you said you haven't seen SPY KIDS 4. Have your students seen it? Do they like it? If so, more or less than live-action family movies that are considered
It wasn't a crack. I really wanted you to read it because a lot of users say what's wrong with movies dumbed down for kids. I'm glad your students have imagination because that can turn into creativity when they get older, but that's not going to help them in life if they're also being talked down by patronizing movies like this. By the way, you said you haven't seen SPY KIDS 4. Have your students seen it? Do they like it? If so, more or less than live-action family movies that are considered good (the first 2 SPY KIDS, for example)?
3:51PM on 06/03/2015
Why are movies like this patronizing to little kids in your opinion? I'm curious as to why you think kids shouldn't watch things like this. This movie, from the looks of it, isn't hurting anyone. I've seen Spy Kids. Most of my kids have seen the first and second one. Its goofy and silly and kid friendly. I find it wonderful that my students come up with similar things that happen in those kooky clips above. Not everything needs to have a heartwarming moral like a disney pixar movie. That's
Why are movies like this patronizing to little kids in your opinion? I'm curious as to why you think kids shouldn't watch things like this. This movie, from the looks of it, isn't hurting anyone. I've seen Spy Kids. Most of my kids have seen the first and second one. Its goofy and silly and kid friendly. I find it wonderful that my students come up with similar things that happen in those kooky clips above. Not everything needs to have a heartwarming moral like a disney pixar movie. That's not how life is. First of all, they're children. They should continue to be children until they aren't. That isn't hurting them or making them grow up wrong. I don't know if you remember being little, but I do, and things like what your talking about don't matter until you're a certain age. Things like plot and engaging characters and morals are certainly not what young kids actively search for. If they find it and understand it, that's wonderful but saying that showing them movies like this is patronizing them isn't true at all.
5:38PM on 06/03/2015
It's not just me saying this. Again, read that comment section or any message board on the subject.

SPY KIDS 1 & 2 work for not taking themselves seriously. They also cleverly make fun of some spy movie cliches. SPY KIDS 4 may have toilet humour but ultimately it's a serious attempt at telling a story (hence the sentimental final act). It also has cliches in the traditional way. Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara weren't the best actors as kids, but they were fine. The kids in this one suck.
It's not just me saying this. Again, read that comment section or any message board on the subject.

SPY KIDS 1 & 2 work for not taking themselves seriously. They also cleverly make fun of some spy movie cliches. SPY KIDS 4 may have toilet humour but ultimately it's a serious attempt at telling a story (hence the sentimental final act). It also has cliches in the traditional way. Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara weren't the best actors as kids, but they were fine. The kids in this one suck. Jessica Alba's got nothing on Carla Gugino in terms of talent (and looks too).

If the plots and characters aren't engaging, how can kids enjoy it? I assume you meant "creative". Anyway, yes, it is patronizing because there's a precedent. It has been proven that family movies can have elements that adults can enjoy too, so if one doesn't have it, it's because it hasn't lived to its potential.

How do movies like these hurt kids? Well, SPY KIDS 4 doesn't have a bad message, but a lot of live-action kids movies do. The most common one is "It's better to have an unemployed parent than a workaholic parent." There's also a negative effect in the long run. There's nothing more heartbreaking than watching a bad movie as an adult and remembering how you liked it as a kid. It makes you feel dumb and cheated.

By the way, SPONGEBOB and 31 MINUTOS are among my favorite shows. And to this day, everytime I watch a DONALD DUCK cartoon from the 1930s/40s, it cheers my day!
6:30PM on 06/03/2015
You're seriously missing the point. First of all you're misinterpreting what I said about "Things like plot and engaging characters and morals." Those are things we, as adults look for. I NEVER said kids wouldn't find other things in these films engaging. Also, who cares about what other people say in another comment section? Do you think everyone everywhere feels the EXACT SAME WAY as those people? They don't. Most don't even care. So you're saying kids should be sheep, and think what
You're seriously missing the point. First of all you're misinterpreting what I said about "Things like plot and engaging characters and morals." Those are things we, as adults look for. I NEVER said kids wouldn't find other things in these films engaging. Also, who cares about what other people say in another comment section? Do you think everyone everywhere feels the EXACT SAME WAY as those people? They don't. Most don't even care. So you're saying kids should be sheep, and think what everyone else thinks. Or do you want them to form their own opinion on things? I'd prefer the ladder for them.

The actors. WHO, that is not of the age of 4-12, gives a crap about how good the actors are? KIDS ENJOY IT. This isn't a family movie. It's a kids movie. Its not for adults. You're not understanding that. This isn't about longevity or looking back on a movie and realizing it isn't as good as you thought it was. It's about being a kid. You seriously don't understand what its like to be entertained as a kid. You're coming at this movie and this situation as an adult and you can't. It doesn't make sense. Which is why movies like this ARENT FOR US.

"It has been proven that family movies can have elements that adults can enjoy too, so if one doesn't have it, it's because it hasn't lived to its potential." Where has this been proven and AGAIN, why does it matter? It's NOT a family movie. It's a KIDS movie. If young kids enjoy it why does it matter what adults think? Why take that away from them. I enjoy a beer every now and again and if suddenly someone took my beer away from me as I was drinking it because they deemed it wasn't appropriate enough, I'd be pretty upset. Because I'm an adult. And I should be able to like adult things. Kids should be able to like kid things.

"There's also a negative effect in the long run. There's nothing more heartbreaking than watching a bad movie as an adult and remembering how you liked it as a kid. It makes you feel dumb and cheated." This doesn't have anything to do with enjoying something as a kid. You AREN'T and adult...when you're a kid. When most kids grow up they may find the silly kids movie "dumb" but cheated? That's reaching. First of all...its a movie...that has people through poop diaper bombs at people.

I honestly think you're missing the point and not seeing this through a kids point of view. I know it's not an easy thing to do. But NO, it doesn't hurt kids. NO, it doesn't hurt them in the long run either.
12:13PM on 06/03/2015

Actually Really Liked this One.

And I thought it would be every bit as awful as it seems. That being said I suprisingly found it to be one of the most enjoyable of the series. Infinitley better than 3 and I would say on par with 2. I don't know why Rodriguez insists on using such crappy green screen for all his kids film though.
And I thought it would be every bit as awful as it seems. That being said I suprisingly found it to be one of the most enjoyable of the series. Infinitley better than 3 and I would say on par with 2. I don't know why Rodriguez insists on using such crappy green screen for all his kids film though.
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2:32PM on 06/03/2015
Rodriguez uses green screen whenever possible, even in simple exterior shots. He said that he likes that more than waiting for the right light.
Rodriguez uses green screen whenever possible, even in simple exterior shots. He said that he likes that more than waiting for the right light.
11:14AM on 06/03/2015
i enjoyed Spy Kids 1 a lot. Spy Kids 2 was still okay. Spy Kids 3 was somewhere between 1 & 2. But this Spy Kids 4 looks so awfully bad. But I love that Assface joke, haha.
i enjoyed Spy Kids 1 a lot. Spy Kids 2 was still okay. Spy Kids 3 was somewhere between 1 & 2. But this Spy Kids 4 looks so awfully bad. But I love that Assface joke, haha.
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