After Spy Kids was released as a sleeper hit, Robert Rodriguez began working on a second installment with the The Main Cast reprising their roles in the sequel called, “Spy Kids 2: The Island Of Lost Dreams.”
Spy Kids 2: The Island Of Lost Dreams was released in 2002. It received positive reviews from critics and audiences alike. Plus, it made enough revenue at the box office.
Coincidentally, Spy Kids 2 was released alongside a dozen of spy films including The Bourne Identity, Die Another Day, Men In Black II, The Sum Of All Fears, Bad Company, Triple X, Austin Powers In Goldmember, Clockstoppers, Hey Arnold: The Movie, The Master Of Disguise, The Tuxedo, Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course & I Spy.
Netflix has confirmed that they’ll release Spy Kids as a computer animated series airing on April 20. In response, I would like to share my real thoughts about Spy Kids 2. Don’t forget Robert Rodriguez is working on his upcoming film called, “Alita : Battle Angel” with James Cameron collaborating on set.
This review is a NON-SPOILER article. If you’ve never seen the original or second entry, feel free to read it.
Positive & Negative Qualities
Positive: Alexa Vega & Daryl Sabara reprise their roles as Carmen & Juni. They both did a good job on their performances.
Other Cast Members such as Danny Trejo, (Rodriguez’ lucky charm) Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Alan Cumming, Mike Judge, Cheech Marin, Tony Shalhoub, Holland Taylor & Ricardo Montalban (Khan from Star Trek) all did a good job on their performances.
Then Newcomers to the series including Steve Buscemi, Bill Paxton, (may he Rest In Peace) Emily Osmet & Christopher McDonald also did an ok job on their performances.
Some Action Sequences were solid and funny at the same time.
Robert Rodriguez returns to direct, write, produce, edit, film and compose the second entry.
Fun Fact: Spy Kids 2 is the first time Rodriguez shot in digital format rather than shooting in traditional film.
Steve Buscemi’s character Dr. Romero, has a back story about the origins of the titular Island.
Cinematography didn’t contain no technical problems.
Despite cheap lookin’ C.G.I. Creature Designs are unique, featuring two specific animals spliced as one. Rodriguez confirmed that the creatures’ movement was intentional to resemble Ray Harryhausen’s Stop-Motion Techniques.
Carmen said “shiitake mushrooms.” Just like I’ve mentioned in the first film, I’m giving her Bonus Points for making me laugh. Mike Myers also used a joke about shiitake mushrooms in Austin Powers: Goldmember. Maybe he watched to come up with his own joke about mushrooms.
Both Carmen & Juni use a gadget to help them climb on a wall like Spider-Man. Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man came out the same year as Spy Kids 2. Speaking of wall crawling, Tom Cruise did a similar scene in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol when his character Ethan Hunt, puts on magnetic gloves to help him wall crawl to the tallest building in the world. I think Tom came up with idea to do a stunt without involving green screen or stunt doubles. I’m gonna assume that he hired Alexa & Daryl to babysit his daughter Suri, so he can say… “You think you’re so cool with your goofy lookin’ gadgets, kids let me show you what a REAL spy can do!”
The mascot from Troublemaker Studios appears before the film begins. To put the icing on the cake, the studio is also a theme park ride. Rodriguez also filmed the opening scene in Six Flags located in Arlington, Texas! I’ll give this movie an Extra Point for filming various scenes in Texas. What do Rodriguez & I both have in common? We’re native Texans!
Oye Como Spy is once again used as the instrumental theme. Hearing that piece reminded me of Wonder Woman’s theme from Batman Vs. Superman & her solo movie.
One scene pays tribute to Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey. Somebody’s been watching The Wild Stallions!
Marketing for the second film never revealed who The Bad Guy is, you had to see it to find out who he/she truly is.
There is a shocking moment near the end of the film. I won’t spoil it.
During The End Credits Sequence, Both Carmen & Juni performed like rock stars in front a large crowd. Alexa herself, did her own singing for “Isle Of Dreams.”
Bloopers are also used during The End Credits Sequence. Daryl jokingly referred to a necklace as “My Precious.” Speaking of precious, The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers also came out in 2002. I guess he’s a Tolkien fan.
Negative: Visual Effects such as a Green Screen Effect, resembles something off of a Jimmy Neutron episode. Let’s be honest, Rodriguez is known for making cheap pictures since El Mariachi.
The Adult Spies are depicted as a bunch of stupid idiots for not double checking to if they think Juni actually stole something very important. Agencies like S.H.I.E.L.D. MI6 & KND (from Codename Kids Next Door) are crazy prepared by performing a cavity search before they apprehending a possible suspect! That’s what happens if The OSS never took TSA’s advice to see if someone is smuggling something outside or inside a person’s body!
The Final Verdict: B, FOR BRIGHT & COLORFUL!
Despite two problems listed as cons, Spy Kids 2: The Island Of Lost Dreams is as good as its predecessor. I would consider the second installment as the last good film of the series until Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over & Spy Kids: All The Time In The World tarnished the series. I highly recommend both the first and second films. If you’re gonna watch the last two films, you might possibly regret watching if you use 3-D glasses.