Monday, August 22, 2011

REVIEW: Spy Kids: All the Time in the World 4D

Spy Kids:
All the Time in the World

Jessica Alba, Joel McHale


August 19, 2011

Robert Rodriguez

Dimension Films,
Troublemaker Studios

1 hour 28 minutes



Ah, don't we all love 3D?  The 'Spy Kids' franchise literally brought back 3D when the third film, 'Game Over' exploded onto the scene back in 2003.  Ever since then, almost everything out there is in 3D.  Heck, three of this weekend's releases are in 3D, with the other two rated R.  Ever since I was young, I have always been a fan of 'Spy Kids.'  What kid wouldn't want to become secret agents and fight off bad guys to save the world?  After 'Spy Kids 3D,' I thought that the franchise would be over.  But alas, Robert Rodriguez has decided to make another Spy Kids eight years after the last one.  It is highly doubtful that kids would remember 'Spy Kids' unless they've been watching Disney XD for the past couple of months.  To makes things more "extreme," Rodriguez has decided to add one more dimension into the pot: smell.  Surprisingly enough, "Aromascope" as it was advertised as was the least of the film's problems.  The acting is pretty terrible, the 3D is  distracting and not needed, and the script is poorly written.  However, it was nice to see the original 'Spy Kids' (Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara) back on the big screen, even if their acting sucks.  This fourth installment is better than the third film 'Game Over,' but it's not nearly as good as the original two that put the series on the top.

A year after retiring from the spy division OSS, Marissa Cortez is called back into business after the world is threatened by a man only known as "The Timekeeper."  His threat is to take all  the time in the world so nobody will ever be able to spend it properly.  Without intention, Marissa's step kids Cecil and Rebecca are recruited into the now dead Spy Kids division to help stop The Timekeeper from taking the time from the entire world.  Meanwhile, Rebecca and Cecil's father is a spy hunter, not even thinking that his wife could be a spy, more or less a retired one.  There's also a talking robot dog that's there for jokes that are sometimes funny, believe it or not. 

Have you ever seen a movie in 3D before, where the 3D wasn't even necessary in the first place?  My guess is that you have, which is why I skipped 3D for 'The Smurfs' when I saw it.  However I chose to go 3D for this movie because I wanted the full "4D" effect of this movie.  Unfortunately the 3D was completely pointless, as it added nothing to the experience, and the extra "smell-o-vision" was a very dumb idea.  I have been alive enough to remember seeing 'Rugrats Go Wild' with smell cards back in 2003, and even then I thought it was dumb.  We were supposed to smell baby crap and bleu cheese in some moments, which I actually looked forward to smelling.  As it turned out, every smell smelled like candy of all kinds, which explains the corniness of this movie.  If you go into this movie because you want a fun "4D experience," I can guarantee that you will be coming out very let down.

Of everything bad about this movie, the worst thing about this film is the acting from the film's horrible casting.  This movie might have been lucky enough to score such comedic talents as Joel McHale, Ricky Gervais, and Jeremy Piven, but it doesn't even matter because their natural comedic abilities are executed poorly, with barely any funny jokes coming from these funny comedians.  Actually, Ricky Gervais, who played the robot dog Argonaut, did make me chuckle a few times, but that was it.  No voice can overcome the mediocrity of this kids flick.  The sexy Jessica Alba for some reason is the big name on the poster, yet that is all she is in this movie: a name.  Her acting is some of the worst acting that I've seen all year, with even making the actors from those terrible spoof movies jealous.  I've seen many cardboard ads of this movie, and Alba's acting is as thin and shallow as those ads.  Kids don't care about acting unlike critics and parents, but parents might as well buy tickets for their kids and walk into something much much better than this movie.

Since the original Spy Kids are all grown up now, it's time to cast new kids to fill their spots.  The kids who were chosen to fill their spots are named Rowan Blanchard and Mason Cook.  While it was nice to have new, young kids to fill the spots originated from Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara, they don't have the bickering charm that the original kids had.  Sure, they fought, pulled pranks, and had personal contests between each other, these new kids didn't have that charisma that pulled us into Vega and Sabara a decade ago.  Speaking of the original kids, they came back to the series to help out a bit in this new film.  It's amazing how much puberty can change your acting abilities over the course of a decade.  They weren't as bad as the adult actors, but their acting and devotion to this series proves that it's hard to get work in Hollywood if they can only remember you as "the 'Spy Kids' kid."  I hope that they get work in the near future, but for now, kids, just leave the series that started your career, as it will only add more disappointment onto your poor résumé.

'Spy Kids 4' may have "all the time in the world," but the only bit of time it has is the time where it wasted my time.  It might have been nice to have seen the original kids that brought this franchise to life, and have Ricky Gervais playing an amusing robot dog, but the film suffers from horrible acting, a lousy script, and the imagination of a 6 year old in a mental asylum.  The added gimmicks of 3D and 4D get old very quickly, almost as if the cardboard characters can only say "what's that smell" or stick something out at the audience every 15 seconds.  Kids may think that this is a great movie, but that's only because they are kids: they love everything they see.  Parents will possibly regret taking their kids to see this movie, as there is no entertainment value for any parents at all.  Heck, not even the 'Hangover' boys can survive scratching, sniffing, and watching this 88 minute long film. 

Word of advice to Robert Rodriguez: stop taking movie advice from your kids.  No offense to them, but they are ruining your career.  They have made us suffer through such awful films like 'The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl,' as well as the better but still bad 'Shorts.'  Yeah I know, I enjoyed the movie two years ago, but I was 12 when I first saw that movie, and I enjoyed most things back then.  Overall, 'Spy Kids 4' isn't as disastrous as the third film in the franchise, but with the over use of gimmicks, weak script, and terrible acting, 'All the Time in the World' is a mess.  Families, do yourself a huge favor and go see family movies that are really worth the ticket price, let alone the 3D price.


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