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Spy Kids (2001)

10th November 2001

When retired international spies are called back into service, and subsequently go missing, it is down to their two children to rescue them and save the day.
Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Alexa Vega, Daryl Sabara, Alan Cumming, Tony Shalhoub, Teri Hatcher, Cheech Marin, Robert Patrick, Danny Trejo
Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Crime
3
1 Hour 28 Minutes

Carmen and Juni Cortez think that their parents are boring and that nothing ever exciting happened in their life. Every evening at bedtime their mother Ingrid would read them a story about how two spies from different countries were sent on a mission to kill each other, only to fall in love. Little did they know that the story was true and that those two spies were their parents.

When a number of spies go missing the agents are reactivated and sent on a mission to locate and rescue the agents. Things don't get off to the start they hoped when they too are all too easily captured by a mysterious organisation who seem to know their every move. However, they always plan ahead and they send an 'uncle' to look after their children in their absence.

When a group of people arrive at the Cortez home it soon becomes apparent that they are there for a family visit. To the children's surprise they discover that their 'uncle' is not quite the person they assumed and their home is well equipped with an amazing array of gadgets to aide their escape. They soon find themselves joining the family business in order to rescue their parents from the clutches of a mad scientist bent on creating an army of super-robots.

The picture is bright and colourful with an above average bit-rate throughout the film. There's no signs of any artifacting or outlining but there are times when the special effects are all too obvious, especially during the scenes that use various forms of flying. However, these are only minor quibbles when the other special effects and locations are taken into consideration. As with all action films you expect a good soundtrack and that is what we have here. There's plenty of activity in the surround channels, especially during the chase scenes, whilst the front channels are well occupied with crisp and clear dialogue in the centre channel.

Although the menu system is nicely animated and, loudly, scored there are no extras what-so-ever on this region three edition of the disc. I'm sure the Asian region is still struggling to come to terms with the superior abilities of DVD as the chapter selection option only has eight chapters. This is in comparison with the region one's twenty three. I also find it hard to believe that the distributors couldn't even find a trailer to put on a disc, even more so, when the region one edition contains them.

When consumers are paying a premium for this format they at least expect value for money. I'm always suspicious of the hype that surrounds a film and certainly dismiss anything that comes from the film companies. However, I was taken in by the number of comments from various friends and reports on the internet. Unfortunately, I took notice of what they said and was taken in by the promise of a James Bond style action /family film. Boy, was I disappointed with this ridiculous pile of pap with some awful acting from the child actors.

Ok, I'll grant you that it is a family film with a goody-goody message hidden in there somewhere (perhaps you have to play it backwards) and I'm sure the family will enjoy it. However, if you are an action fan then you are going to be sadly disappointed and I suggest you stick with Mr. Bond.

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