After completing both “Once Upon A Time In Mexico” & Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over” in 2003, Robert Rodriguez worked on his next project, “Sin City” with assistance from Frank Miller & Quentin Tarantino. As they collaborated to adapt Frank’s graphic novel series, Rob’s son Racer, presented him a story titled, “The Adventures Of Sharkboy And Lavagirl.” Encouraged by his son’s story, Rob gives him credit as a writer. Thus, Rob simultaneously worked on both movies.
The Adventures Of Sharkboy And Lavagirl was released in 2005. (same year V For Vendetta came out) Unlike Sin City, it was critically panned by critics and movie goers alike. Plus it didn’t make enough revenue at the box office.
Rob’s upcoming film “We Can Be Heroes” a follow up to Sharkboy And Lavagirl will stream on Netflix in January.
This review contains huge SPOILERS. I don’t care if their any crucial plot point is present so feel free to read my thoughts on why Sharkboy & Lavagirl is a dud.
Hot & Cold Elements:
Hot: Max has a journal which brings Sharkboy & Lavagirl to life. Basically “Death Note” in a nutshell. In a gamer’s perspective, the “Scribblenauts” series.”
Taylor Lautner& Taylor Dooley’s performances as the titular duo felt stale like Megan Fox’s acting abilities. Bruce Wayne & Rachel Dawes’ chemistry from “Batman Begins” were more emotionally compelling.
Cinematography wasn’t an issue at all.
Similar to “The Wizard Of Oz” Max’s family, classmates, rival & teacher are real world counterparts to the world Max made. Unlike The Wizard Of Oz, its not an alternate universe.
The word “dream” is mentioned so many times. To spice things up a notch, how about a drinking game. Take a shot whenever somebody says the word dream. I’d stick to non-alcoholic drinks or water. I do not condone alcohol poisoning.
One of Max’s classmates made a character named, Plastic Boy. A reference to the DC Comics superhero, Plastic Man. Speaking of DC, Batman Begins, “V For Vendetta” & Constantine” came out in 2005. DC was on a roll. Too bad Marvel released their god awful “Fantastic Four 2005” & “Elektra.”
The Trio visit Ice Princess so they can retrieve an ice crystal. Coincidentally, a figure skater is also named Ice Princess.
The only good part I like is when Sharkboy fights plugs, he channels his inner Bruce Lee. If Bruce were alive, I would’ve like to see him work with Rob & Danny Trejo.
Cold: Robert Rodriguez did a horrendous job alongside his son Racer for constructing the movie’s mythos, script and ridiculous moments.
I know Rob is notorious for his low budget films, but the visual effects are butt ugly. You can tell the green screen is fake. Sin City’s low budget managed to create a living and breathing comic book visually translated on the big screen. Sharkboy & Lavagirl however, are visually translated as in The Glob Monster from “JumpStart 1st Grade.”
The giant couple who look like Max’s parents have no crucial role other than attempting to eat him alive. EGADS! Max is a terrible writer failing to create three dimensional complex characters.
Sharkboy’s backstory is shown during the opening, but what about Lavagirl? Her backstory is never brought up. Max couldn’t think of her origins? Does he have writer’s block?
Planet Drool’s atmosphere isn’t immersive like Sin City. It’s a sloppy mess.
Linus comments on Lavagirl saying “She’s Hot.” Oh no! That reminds me of The Human Torch’s check-up scene from Fantastic Four 2005 when a nurse tells him he’s literally hot. Human Torch replies back, “Why thank you so are you.”
I swear to god I’m not making this up. When The Trio escape a dangerous roller coaster, a door shaped like Dr. Evil’s rocket opens with a beam of light.
As The Trio encounter Max’s robot he created, Lavagirl questions the robot about who she is stating she’s clueless. Who the heck says that? Aelita from “Code Lyoko” is laughing how idiotic it sounds. She would never say something to her friends while adjusting to the real world. Aelita has a better backstory than Lavagirl. Unlike the latter, the former is a complex character.
A Plot Hole involving why the floating robot head didn’t escort Max, Sharkboy & Lavagirl to sneak into Minus’ hideout to retrieve his journal, then retrieve Ice Princess’ crystal in time.
Lavagirl’s dissolved form with her head intact is horrendously fuglier than Superman’s digitally removed mustache from “Justice League.”
After Minus locks The Trio in a birdcage, why didn’t he kill them immediately. Aw geez! Incompetent bad guys is one or the worst cliches I hate as in pre-Daniel Craig’s James Bond films when the villain doesn’t kill him right now and 90’s villains carbon copies of Harry & Marv from “Home Alone.”
Taylor Lautner is a terrible singer. Even worse, he starts to breakdance in order to get Max to sleep. I hate dance scenes out of nowhere.
As Max & Minus battle using their creativity, Max shouts “brain fart.” Minus’ head expands like a big head cheat code from “Goldeneye N64.” Rob must’ve been pretty implementing the effects.
When Max’s parents are about to get sucked into a tornado, David Arquette & Kristen Davis shot their scene in one day. Their acting is so bad Rob forgot to do another take. Acting 101, always do additional takes to improve your acting ability. Ugh! David & Kristen’s acting in this scene looks like Hayden Christensen would say on camera.
As Mr. Electric arrives on Earth to destroy the planet, where are the cops or military? If an alien invasion happens similar to Steven Spielberg’s “War Of The Worlds,” firepower is needed to combat hostile forces.
The Final Verdict: F, FOR FAKER!
The Adventures Of Sharkboy & Lavagirl is one of the worst movies Robert Rodriguez has ever made besides Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over,” “Shorts” & Spy Kids: All The Time In The World.” Do not waste your spare time on this fugly looking 3-D film. If you want to watch a better movie by Rob, I highly recommend “The Mexico Trilogy,” “From Dusk Til Dawn,” “Sin City” “Grindhouse” or “Machete.”