Spy Kids (2001)

(In theaters, April 2001) After trying to pander to the teen crown with The Faculty, Robert Rodriguez goes after the family market with Spy Kids, one rare example of a film that successfully delivers to the youngsters while keeping the adults interested. Make no mistake; this is still very much a kid’s film, with simplified plotting, much fantasy, not a whole lot of subtlety and no real attempt at an extra layer of sly winks at adults. Still, it’s all very enjoyable; Rodriguez turns in his most polished film yet without losing touch with his dynamic style. There are a lot of fights, cool gadgets, conscious set-pieces and a lot of stuff blows up, but the film is supported by a solid promotion of family values and an overall lack of objectionable material. The latino settings and sensibilities add another touch of pleasant distinctiveness. Bring on the sequel.

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