Release Date: August 19, 2011
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Stars: Jessica Alba, Jeremy Piven, Joel McHale
Runtime: 89 min
Tagline: Saving the world is their idea of family time.
Robert Rodriguez: Director, often great screen writer, some of his best work includes Sin City, Grindhouse, Planet Terror, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, those sort of darkly atmospheric flicks. He has also entertained children and adults alike with the first two Spy Kids films – they’re sort of like the James Bond for kids. Though, he also is capable of inducing torturous films for adults, that pass itself as entertainment – and even some kids may not enjoy. The prime example is The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl. I’ll give him that Spy Kids 3-D was bearable in most areas, but it wasn’t anything special. This film is just one of those movies where you can say confidently: “Oh, this crap is just terrible.”
Marissa Wilson (Jessica Alba) has been married to Wilbur Wilson (Joel McHale) for about a year now, and they have had one baby together. There’s a nuisance for Marissa: Wilbur’s twins. Cecil (Mason Cook) isn’t all bad, but the real trouble is the daughter, the pranking Rebecca (Rowan Blanchard). She has a sore spot for her [Marissa] because Rebecca thinks she’s trying to replace her real mother, and most of all – she thinks Marissa is hiding something. She is correct, Marissa is a retired OSS agent. After the Timekeeper escapes from prison, he threatens the world with an upcoming apocalypse. He’ll do this by speeding up time to the point where there isn’t any time left in the day. Marissa is called back to action to stop the Timekeeper, and her new family is tossed into the mix in the process.
This film is predictable from the get go, or at least when you meet the central characters. I don’t know how good the 3D was, but it was fairly obvious what could have been in 3D – and it didn’t look like it would have made any good 3D effects.
The film bares the same message as the first three: family is the most important thing. The first three did this well, so this film is just so unnecessary. Also, the fact that family comes first is practically just generally believed to be true.
Some good things about it… I guess it offers a fairly nice sense of nostalgia. Some of the gadgets are sort of cool, but they weren’t as cool as in the other films. Alexa Vega’s cameo was good, but she has gotten a bit too old to play her character.
It was nice to see Danny Trejo in this, in his extremely brief cameo as Uncle Machete, but I didn’t care for it very much. Nor did I care for the extended cameo by Daryl Sabara as Juni. He just didn’t work very well.
The story is just really stupid. Who cares about this guy taking over the world? Did Rob Rodriguez not learn anything from having Sylvester Stallone play numerous roles? The villain is just so ridiculous.
The film is just rather unbearable, the acting is horrid and the attempts at comedy or any sentimental moments fail miserably. How this did not get nominated for a Razzie, I have no idea.
Alexa Vega was really the only person in this film I could tolerate. All the other performers are awful, and the children are mighty annoying. The performers do horribly: Jessica Alba, Joel McHale, Jeremy Piven, Rowan Blanchard, Mason Cook and Daryl Sabara. Though, the voice work from Ricky Gervais as the sarcastic mechanical dog, Argonaut, was decent.
Spy Kids 4 is a completely unneeded sequel that offers no entertainment value, has a stupid plot, and should not be seen by anyone who appreciates a good movie. Watch it only if you’re curious to see how bad it really is.