Spy Kids 4D, Jessica Alba

<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>

Directed by Robert Rodriguez. Starring Jessica Alba, Joel McHale, Jeremy Piven, Ricky Gervais.

You don’t need to watch even one of the Spy Kids movies to know if you’ll like them or not. Just a snippet of the older films spied on TV or a trailer will suffice. Cheesy, cheap, slapstick and infinitely juvenile antics are what you’re in for. This one isn’t even funny or entertaining. The 4-D refers to the little ‘aroma scope’ card that you scratch and sniff when the film tells to you. It pretty much stinks just like the film.

The franchise has seen a steady decline over the years. This one looks akin to a school theatre production with its hammy acting, amateur costume design and infantile script.

Jessica Alba plays a spy for OSS who’s also balancing her duties as stepmother to two little kids who she doesn’t always have the time for. And now, since the old spy kids Juni (Daryl Sabara) and Carmen Cortez (Alexa Vega) are all grown up a new set of mini-operatives need to be ‘activated’ to fight the evil Time Keeper (I can’t tell you who it is for fear of revealing his obvious identity) and his squeaky sidekick Tick Tock.

Obviously meant for the kids, it’s hard to understand what a director like Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Desperado) would be doing associated with such immature and sub-standard filmmaking.

Alright so they give you these scratch cards (see picture below) with a series of 8 numbers, each of which flashes on the screen throughout the movie, say when the kids are eating candy cereal. And you sniff that odour. The trouble is that all the numbers smell the same – of sickly sweet bubblegum. (Oh and how on earth the filmmakers expect you to read the numbers on the scratch card in the dark of the theatre with your 3-D glasses on is the real mystery).

The one and only good thing about the lame story about time running out – a corny metaphor to parents everywhere to spend more time with their kids – is the robot dog Argonaut played by Brit actor comedian Ricky Gervais. The new kids are irritating and old ‘kid’ Daryl Sabara is atrocious.

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