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Like most precocious kids, Carla (Alexa Vega) and her younger brother Juni (Daryl Sabara) think their parents (Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino) are really boring. Little do they know they are retired spies called back to action to stop the evil techno-wizard Fegan Floop (Alan Cumming) from ruling the world with his army of robotic child assassins. When captured by Floop, Carla and Juni not only discover their parents' secret identity but must become spies themselves to rescue their parents.

Review by Shannon J. Harvey:
They should have called it Bond Kids. This is James Bond by way of Power Rangers with a bit of Willy Wonka wonderment thrown in for good measure. It's also a fast paced adventure that's family in every sense of the word.= Director Robert Rodriguez, who usually makes violent horror/thrillers like The Faculty, From Dusk Till Dawn, Desperado, and his low-budget break-through El Mariachi, has made Spy Kids an unexpectedly stylish romp. His assured direction has a unique sense of playfulness, as with the many crazy toys, vehicles and gadgets that get a work-out by our pint-sized spies. James Bond would be green with envy, and it's no wonder Rodriguez is already working on Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams.

The DVD, however, sports less features than the film's cool spy gadgets. The Behind the Scenes featurette is hosted by fresh-faced stars Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara. They introduce the mission and explain the casting choices - most notably Banderas, a friend of Rodriguez's and his often-cast star. Here he was intentionally cast first as the suave Mediterranean spy-father, with other stars cast around him. The featurette is rather fluffy, playing as little more than an extended theatrical trailer with a tacked-on video clip of the title song. There's also a preview of Cats and Dogs to help reinforce its target potential. The featurette and theatrical and teaser trailers are all you really get here, and all three look uninspiringly similar.

Still, Spy Kids stands on its own as a rollicking good time for kids young and old. There is lots of wire-work and some fantastic action sequences (aided by CGI), namely the rocket-pack flying and the speed-boat chases. Banderas adds a touch of self-consciousness to his under-dog character (dig the pencil-thin moustache), and the very underrated and under-used Carla Gugino (from Chicago Hope and the edgy indie film Jaded) makes for a beautiful, charismatic she-spy. This is fun, lighthearted stuff for all to enjoy.

Published March 13, 2002

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You can buy it HERE - next day delivery within Australia



CAST: Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Alan Cumming, Teri Hatcher, Robert
Patrick, Cheech Marin, Alexa Vega, Daryl Sabara

DIRECTOR: Robert Rodriguez

RUNNING TIME: 84 minutes

PRESENTATION: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 , Widescreen 16:9 enhanced transfer format, English subtitles for hearing impaired

SPECIAL FEATURES: Theatrical trailer, Teaser trailer, Preview trailer for Cats and Dogs, Scene selection, Interactive menus

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: March 6, 2002

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