Posted: 11/15/2011


Spy Kids: All the Time in the World

by Caress Thirus

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Spy Kids: All the Time in the World (2011) is Robert Rodriguez’s attempt to make a comeback on the successful franchise that dominated the 2000s. Unfortunately, the higher budget, new characters, and distance between this movie and the last one make it seem disconnected. It doesn’t look like the old Spy Kids movies; the cinematography is more advanced. The fourth installment feels like a totally different movie, despite the inclusion of some of the old characters and gadgets that were no doubt thrown in for some type of connection.

Marissa Wilson (Jessica Alba) has a super busy life: she’s newly married, is expecting a baby, and is having a lot of trouble connecting with her step kids Rebecca (Rowan Blanchard) and Cecil (Mason Cook). If that wasn’t enough, she’s also a secret agent of the OSS, and doing all she can to keep the evil Timekeeper from stopping time and bringing the world to an end. Her family has no idea about her secret agent ties; they think she’s an interior designer.

The movie is packed with silly puns and cool twists that even the parents might not be able to catch before they occur. The time aspect of the film gets a little confusing, especially at one point where the timekeeper keeps going back and forth in time. The movie also seems to drag, and it appeared to be coming to a close at least three times before it actually did.

Like the old films in the franchise, Spy Kids: All the Time in the World includes the same messages about the importance of family and the wild gadgets that fans of the old films will no doubt be excited to see. Some of the scenes and occurrences are reminiscent of the old movies, and there are some old lines used over again too. Rebecca and Cecil are a lot like Carmen Cortez (Alexa Vega) and Juni Cortez (Daryl Sabara), who make cameos in the film.

That’s about where the similarities end. While the Rebecca and Cecil use some of the old gadgets from the Spy Kids Division of the OSS, they mostly get to play with the new toys. At some points the old soundtrack, gadgets, and even a scene with footage from the old movies help to bring sentimentality to the older fans. There are special effects obviously meant for the 3D version of the film, but they’re still fun. There’s also some pretty gross “humor” included.

Kids who never saw the old Spy Kids movies might enjoy this one, but it’s not for the old fans. Makes sense, since those kids are probably all in college by now.

Caress Thirus is a student at Roosevelt University and a film enthusiast.

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