To its credit, “Spy Kids 2” does indeed display a lot of creativity and imagination, and that makes it a lot better than most family movies Hollywood makes. However, while the first “Spy Kids” was a fun romp that kids AND adults would enjoy, this sequel isn’t as much fun.
I think the biggest flaw is that this sequel is missing heart. We don’t feel the warmth between the family members as we previously did. (Yes, the youthful siblings did fight and disagree a lot in the first movie, but you could still sense a solid bond between them.) There’s no sense of the characters feeling danger, excitement, and a sense of adventure as they did the first time around. Instead, there is a coldness, a mechanical feeling this time, like they are very familiar (and almost bored with) with what they are experiencing, even with each other. The presence of two snotty and selfish rival child spies just furthers this somewhat sour tone.
While kids might not mind this too much, I think even they will agree with the second problem I found – the story here is VERY confusing at times. For one thing, the movie seems to start at chapter two, jumping ahead of itself before the audience is set and ready. Then after that, there are a number of moments where we keep thinking “Huh? How did (this character) get there all of a sudden?” and “Huh? What on earth happened off-screen to make (what we are now seeing) happen?” Very annoying. It’s all made worse by a pace that is MUCH too fast, even for an adventure of this nature.
Note to Robert Rodriguez: I understand you will soon start “Spy Kids 3”. Please not only take notice of what I’ve said above, but take note of Daryl Sabara (“Juni”). Though not a bad actor, there were a number of instances where he didn’t enunciate his dialogue clearly enough, which lead me to rewind back a few seconds and use captions. Please take care of this on set, or at the very least, patch it up during post-production looping.
Review by Wizard-8