Spy Kids 3: Game Over
starring Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Alexa Vega, Daryl Sabara
written and directed by Robert Rodriguez
by Walter Chaw Robert Rodriguez's deeply unpleasant conclusion to his Spy Kids trilogy lacks the smarts and inventiveness of the first two films in the series, putting all of its eggs in a 3-D basket that is so certain to cause headache that bottles of aspirin should be passed out alongside the flimsy red/blue glasses. All the weaknesses of the previous Spy Kids entries, unbolstered in Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (hereafter Spy Kids 3) by a sense of joy and innovation, are unforgivable in this film: the genuinely awful child actors, the cheesy special effects, and that certain air of imported moral superiority that seems a late-hour attempt to justify the emptiness of the exercise. Out of nowhere, the lessons of family and respect for disability find themselves grafted to this flimsiest of low-tech frameworks--special effects that are so amateurish and poorly implemented they don't so much remind of Tron as replicate Tron bit-for-bit twenty-one years after the fact. The narrative of the film, such as it is, reveals itself to be a life-support system for hyperactive incompetence, and for a series of stupid cameos that are at least preferable to Sylvester Stallone as something called The Toymaker.