movie film review | chris tookey

Spy Kids 2: The Island Of Lost Dreams / Spy Kids II / Spykids 2 /

Dimension Films. Photo by Rico Torres. - all rights reserved
  Spy Kids 2: The Island Of Lost Dreams / Spy Kids II / Spykids 2  /    Review
Tookey's Rating
8 /10
Average Rating
6.33 /10
Gregorio Cortez: Antonio Banderas, Ingrid Cortez: Carla Gugino, Carmen Cortez: Alexa Vega
Full Cast >

Directed by: Robert Rodriguez
Written by: Robert Rodriguez

Released: 2002
Origin: US
Colour: C
Length: 100

The plot is delirious hokum, in which two rival sets of children attempt to recover a stolen thingumyjig which could destroy the world, but has been taken to a volcanic island that doesn't show up on any maps. Meanwhile the two central Spykids' parents (drolly played by Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino) are trying to track down their endangered progeny (charmingly acted by Alex Vega and Daryl Sabara), with - and sometimes despite - the help of the children's grandparents (Ricardo Montalban and Holland Taylor). The second half of the movie changes from the expected mini-Bond style heroics into a glorious spoof of The Island of Dr Moreau, Jason & The Argonauts and Jurassic Park, with the goggle-eyed Steve Buscemi thoroughly enjoying himself as a mad scientist now terrified of his own creations. Rodriguez even allows Buscemi some philosophical meditations on the nature of God, of which Philip Pullman might be proud.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

Bookmark and Share

An uproarious romp with even more flair and funny ideas than its successful predecessor. Like Stuart Little 2, the sequel is a huge improvement on an already promising original.

Robert Rodriguez started out in the field of violent action movies as a cut-price Tarantino with El Mariachi, Desperado and From Dusk Till Dawn, but it's with the Spykids movies that he's showing himself to be an original talent.

The most refreshing thing about him is that he understands the tastes of modern children, but doesn't grovel to them. Spy Kids 2 has one gag about nose-picking and another about falling into camel dung, but it doesn't rely on crudeness or lavatory jokes. In fact, it has a verbal wit that is reminiscent of Lewis Carroll and other cerebral children's classics such as The Phantom Tollbooth.

Rodriguez revels in special effects and gadgetry, but retains a beady eye for the way children are becoming perhaps a little too enraptured with modern technology - the children run into trouble because suddenly there's no power to run their gadgets, and the most useful gadget in the whole movie turns out to be a rubber band.

The values on display are strikingly well-adjusted. The whole movie reflects a love of family, and is unusual in showing children that adults need them at least as much as they need adults.

Rodriguez's trademarks are his colourful flamboyance and a stunningly surreal pictorial imagination that ranks alongside Tim Burton's or Terry Gilliam's. This is lovely, intelligent, feelgood fun which will delight discerning parents as much as their children. And make sure you stay to the very end of the credits.

Key to Symbols