See This - Spy Kids


Daryl Sabara, Carla Gugino, Alexa Vega and Antonio Banderas in Spy Kids

Daryl Sabara, Carla Gugino, Alexa Vega and Antonio Banderas in Spy Kids

 

 

Ever since he’d arrived in 1992 with his made-for-nothing El Mariachi, director Robert Rodriguez had been readying himself for Hollywood primetime. His 1996 grindhouse vampire comedy From Dusk till Dawn had allowed him to play with a big name cast (Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, Salma Hayek and a new-to-movies George Clooney) and special effects, and boasted a script by Quentin Tarantino. Following on from that The Faculty gave him a sexy gang of newcomers (Josh Hartnett, Jordana Brewster), a smart script by Kevin Williamson and a bucket of attitude. Both films were, by Hollywood standards, fairly low rent. With Spy Kids he finally got what he wanted – lots of cash, nearly all of it on screen, and this time he wrote the screenplay himself. It’s a film in which Rodriguez gets to show what he can do. And he succeeds at pretty much everything. His jokes are actually funny, his action sequences are actually thrilling. As for his plot, well that’s fairly fresh too. It tells the story of two sleeping secret agents (Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino) who are kidnapped, forcing their kids to come and rescue them. Its triumph is not the performances of its stars (fine), nor the gadgetry (believably intricate), nor the locations (punishingly glamorous), nor the villains (British and dastardly) – it’s the kids. Somehow Rodriguez has managed to extract performances from Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara that are believably child-like (unusual in child actors) yet robust and self-assured enough for us all to believe that they can operate as mini James Bonds and win through. It’s a perfect fantasy, done at lightning speed, with the colour turned all the way up, bursting with ingenuity and fun. Has Rodriguez made a better film since?

© Steve Morrissey 2013

 

Spy Kids – at Amazon

 

 

 

 

imdb poster Spy Kids
Spy Kids (2001)
Run time: 88 min
Rating: 5.5
Genres: Action | Adventure | Comedy
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Stars: Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Alexa Vega
Trivia: The children of secret-agent parents must save them from danger.
Storyline Gregorio and Ingrid are the two greatest secret agents the world has ever known: masters of disguise, mavens of invention, able to stop wars before they even start. Working for separate countries, they are sent to eliminate their most dangerous enemy…each other. But in an exotic corner of the world when they finally come face to face, they fall in love instead and embark on the most dangerous mission they have ever faced: raising a family. Now nine years later, after their retirement, having exchanged the adventure of espionage for parenthood, Gregorio and Ingrid Cortez are called back in to action. When their former colleagues, the world’s most formidable spies, start disappearing one by one, the Cortez’s are forced to take on techno-wizard Fegan Floop and his evil, egg-headed sidekick, Minion. But when the unthinkable happens and they too disappear, unfortunately there are only two people in the world who can rescue them…their kids. Written by Anthony Pereyra <hypersonic91@yahoo.com>
Plot Keywords: secret agent, rescue, spy, espionage, violence
Box Office Budget: $35,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend: $137,939 (Italy) (24 August 2001)
Gross: $112,692,062 (USA) (21 September 2001)