Aug. 24, 2011 - Issue #827: Building revitalization
Spy Kids: All the Time in the World
A few moments are strained, especially when the franchise's first generation (Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara) shows up to help out Spy Kids 2.0. The wordplay with "time"—though it culminates in a touching conversation with the super-villain, rather than the usual good-punching-evil set piece—becomes a bit wearing. Ricky Gervais provides great comic relief, though, as robodog Argo, while even the fart jokes are sophisticated—"Smells like lentils and desperation," muses a villain when he catches a whiff of Marissa's baby. Spy Kids 4 plays smartly with the senses, too: there's a scratch-and-sniff card so we can be nosy, too, while Cecil's hearing-impairedness is smoothly turned into a super-ability. Throughout, the film teeter-totters nicely between old-school emotions (jealousy, regret, selfishness) and high-tech playfulness.
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