After finishing Spy Kids 2: The Island Of Lost Dreams, Robert Rodriguez simultaneously worked on two projects called “Once Upon A Time Mexico,” the last installment in “The Mexico Trilogy” and a film considered one of the weakest installments in the Spy Kids series called, “Spy Kids: 3-D: Game Over.
Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over was released in 2003. (same year Kill Bill came out) Unlike its first two predecessors, the film earned mixed to negative reviews from critics. However, it managed to make enough revenue at the box office.
Now that Netflix officially added a computer animated series called “Spy Kids: Mission Critical,” I wanted to look back on Spy Kids: 3-D to see if it still holds up. I’m also spreading word out that Rodriguez is working on Alita: Battle Angel with James Cameron, which is also gonna be shot in 3-D.
Fun Fact: Spy Kids 3-D came out two days after my 10th birthday. This was my late birthday present to see it in 3-D.
The following review contains SPOILERS. If you’ve never seen the third entry or the first two films, read at your own risk.
Positive & Negative Qualities
Positive: Main Cast from the first two films reprise their roles and they did ok on their performances.
Cinematography felt surprisingly normal without any camera issues.
If you’ve watch the 3-D version, Alan Cumming’s character Fegan Floop, gives us a recap of the previous two films and to tell us to put on our 3-D Glasses if the caption is labels “Glasses On” or “Glasses Off.”
I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, Selena Gomez makes a big screen debut as a minor character, prior to becoming a Disney Channel star. I’ll just leave this as a positive for now, if she’ll finally ditch Justin Bieber for good.
An arena is called, “Rocket Racer,” named after one of Rodriguez’ kids.
Juni does his impression of narrating like a private eye in a neo-noir film. Speaking of neo-noir films, Rodriguez went on direct Frank Miller’s Sin City.
Elijah Wood & George Clooney make cameo appearances.
Bill Paxton said “Game Over for you pal, Game Over!” A reference to Paxton’s character from Aliens saying his infamous line, “Game Over man, Game Over!”
Negative: I hate to break it to you, Robert Rodriguez did a horrible job on making this movie without thinking this through.
The 3-D Glasses are completely useless. When I first put them on, I can only see red and blue from the lenses. It’s like Steve Martin’s glasses from The Jerk, which resulted people becoming cross-eyed! I’m so gonna Triple Down for making me have a difficult time to see through red & blue! I am relieved that the 3-D Glasses didn’t damage my eyeballs. No wonder Christopher Nolan refuses to convert his pictures into 3-D format.
Like its first two predecessors, Visual Effects including a Blue Screen Effect, ugly C.G.I. resembling a Jimmy Neutron episode, are obviously fake. Look guys and gals, Rodriguez is notorious for making his movies cheap as possible since El Mariachi.
Sylvester Stallone’s performance as Toymaker felt embarrassing. There’s a big reason why he won a Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor.
Action Sequences didn’t seem to keep me invested, every single one made me cringe. They lack actual Stunts or unseen Body Doubles. Rodriguez super imposed an actor’s face into a computer generated body. I have no choice but to subtract a Point Down every time I see an actor’s face digitally inserted to a rip-off of a Power Rangers suit during an Action Sequence!
In the 3-D Version, Floop “Broke The Fourth Wall” in the most insulting way to encourage movie goers to spend their hard earn cash by spending it on expensive snacks & drinks. EGADS! Mike Myers’ The Cat In The Hat also Broke The Fourth Wall by holding a brochure of Universal Studios directly at us! I’m Doubling Down Points for Floop acting like a self-promoting moron! If Deadpool mocks expensive concession items/ 3-D Glasses in his movie, he would’ve called movie theater employees corporate sell outs!
Juni’s Grandpa gets easily distracted by a butterfly. Don’t tell me he’s acting like Randy Marsh (Stan’s dad from South Park) becoming distracted by a butterfly in a parody of Inception. South Park depicts Randy as a bumbling idiot, but in Spy Kids 3-D, it doesn’t work out for a veteran spy. What if Ethan Hunt (from Mission Impossible) gets distracted by a ladybug while climbing on the world’s tallest building?
Besides Juni’s Grandpa, several characters are incompetent nincompoops. Examples include a rival racer tells Juni to push a red button labeled, “DO NOT PUSH.” Juni pushes it without thinking, The OSS never properly keep a rap sheet of Toymaker.
Dmitri claims she’s Juni’s girlfriend. OH NO! Juni earned himself an early girlfriend. Throughout the film, they never know each other personally. in real life, you can’t say I’m his/her boyfriend/girlfriend unless you’ve dated the person for a week or two. I thought Finn & Rose’s chemistry from Star Wars: The Last Jedi felt unnecessary.
If you remember watching Spy Kids 2: Carmen & Juni temporarily acquired the ability to speak telepathically only used inside a tomb. In the third film, they SOMEHOW permanently use telepathy outside of the tomb. Who the heck taught them how to read three minds Charles Xavier/Professor X? I find their element inconsistent!
The Climatic Battle has got to be one of the worst Climatic Battles I’ve ever seen in cinematic history. The Avengers has a way better battle to keep your blood pumping!
In The Climatic Battle, not a single Extra was onscreen running for their lives.
Antonio Banderas’ character Gregorio punches a giant robot without feeling any pain. Did he inject Superman’s DNA into his bloodstream offscreen?
Juni’s Grandpa’s connection to Toymaker, is a cheap knock off of Professor X & Magneto’s roles as close friends turned enemies. Marvel or Fox, if you’re reading this review, you better get yourself a lawyer. By the way, the giant robots are portrayed as discount versions of The Sentinels from X-Men.
The Ending wasn’t satisfying at all. I’ll give you one reason why, Toymaker is never apprehended for kidnapping, the good guys unrealistically let him go. No wonder everybody in this film is an idiot! It’s like the equivalent of Seal Six sparing Osama Bin Laden by telling them they forgive him and erased his criminal record. Unlike Floop from the first movie, Toymaker never earned any Character Development.
The Final Verdict: F, FOR FAKER!
Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over is one of the weakest entries of the series next to Spy Kids: All The Time In The World. When I was 10, I never batted an eye on how bad it was, now that I’m older, I finally realize how terrible every flaw is depicted. Rodriguez’ use of 3-D returned in his films such as Sharkboy & Lavagirl, Spy Kids: All The Time In The World & his upcoming film, Alita: Battle Angel.
If I were you, do not waste your spare time on Spy Kids 3-D. I highly recommend Once Upon A Time In Mexico & Kill Bill, because they’re far more superior and worth every single penny.
To paraphrase both Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum’s character from Jurassic Park) & Carmen Cortez’ lines together by describing Spy Kids 3-D, “That is one big pile of shiitake mushrooms!”