Spy Kids 3D – Game Over – movie review

First, fast: No, you don’t need to have seen the first two Spy Kids movies to understand and enjoy this one. Yes, it really is in 3D – you will get a well-constructed pair of red/blue 3D glasses when you buy your movie ticket. Yes, the 3D is really well done and well integrated into the story and framework of the movie.

Also, in my opinion, this movie is the most fun of the 3 Spy Kids movies and perhaps the most fun movie I’ve seen all year.

Now, slower: Yes, watching the other two Spy Kids movies is something I recommend. They are very well made movies which are intended to be enjoyed by children and their parents alike. And since Robert Rodriguez has said that Spy Kids 3D will be the final Spy Kids movie he makes, go rent the first two and enjoy the entire trilogy, knowing you aren’t getting yourself or your children involved in a new, unending franchise.

There is a lot to like about this movie. I’m sure most of you have seen ads for it, and are aware that there are giant fighting robots and some sort of race involved. What you may not know about these two features (of more than enough different and interesting things to hold anyone’s attention) is that they are vastly, vastly entertaining and satisfying. My brother, who I saw this with (and may see it with again, if we find the money), said that the featured robot fight is “the best mech fight [he’s] ever seen.” And the race … well, it captures exactly what it purports itself to be. I thought the car chase in T3 was a lot more fun than the one in M2, but the race in SK3D is so much more fun!!! I mean, in M2 and T3 they were trying to be realistic; in SK3D, they’re racing in a video game. Consequently, the challenges faced therein are more … challenging.

I might go so far as to say that the robot fight and the race are worth the price of admission, but … I fear that would get your hopes up too much. I mean, it’s not the second coming of Cthulhu or something as life-altering as that would be; it’s a kid’s movie about a video game world. But man. I’m gonna try to go see it again on the big screen.

Ooh! That reminds me. I ran into mega-film-guy while in San Diego, a man who has seen more 3D movies than I thought existed, and who really knows what he’s talking about. This is a man who, like me and most of my movie-loving friends, prefers to sit in the first few rows at the movies. But he gave me a piece of advice regarding 3D movies: Sit further back. Preferably in the back half, or even back third of the theatre. Apparently the 3D effects are much, much more effective with the extra distance. Now, when I talked to him I’d already watched SK3D from the 5th row – and wanted to see it again. Now, I want to see it again – from further away. The 3D effects were great, even in the 5th row (with only a little trouble on a few scenes), and I want to see if it really is as much better as he implied.

what else….

Sylvester Stallone makes and excellent bad guy. It’s like he’s been waiting to be the bad guy in a kid’s movie – an excellent performance, and very well cast.

If you HAVE already seen the first two Spy Kids movies, be warned; this one is all about the kids. On screen, I mean. In the first movie adults were about balanced with kids, in the second, kids had almost double the screen time as the adults, and in this, the third movie, most of the adults are simply tacked on at the end, unrelated to the story except as a matter of the “big message” of the movie about family. Again, this does not mean that the movie will not appeal to adults, just that adults aren’t on screen nearly as much as the children. Well, except the bad guy. There’s a lot of him on-screen.

I think that’s about all I have to put here. Except that I am SO looking forward to playing the video game tie-in for this movie. (And not like I wanted to play the Matrix game, to get more story, but because this movie was so fun it made me want to be inside it.)

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