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Tarantino/Rodriguez: Spy Kids

When I first heard that Robert Rodriguez was the mind behind Spy Kids, I was blown away. I thought of him as this gritty badass action filmmaker. I was thinking "really? This guy made a kids movie?" But in retrospect, it makes so much sense. We were talking yesterday about how much fun Rodriguez has with his movies, and that trait lends itself perfect to kiddie fare. You need someone with a Peter Pan complex to help a successful movie, otherwise you end up with this dumbed down crap that is gonna annoy the parents forced to rewind the tape for the umpteenth time as opposed to something that's fun for the whole family.

With Spy Kids, sure there is some excess sillyness. But it feels authentically kid-like. Rodriguez has a few munchkins of his own, so you know that they must have brainstormed some ideas with their dear old daddy (c'mon, the bad guy is named Floop). What also stands out about this movie is that it is a legit action movie. Not just some fast paced slapstick, but full on explosions and spy gear and fight sequences. The spy stuff is on the Chuck Bartowski side of the spy spectrum, where what you see is the glamorized idea of what all us nerds think spies do. Just the sorta thing kids let their imaginations run away with.

Rodriguez manages to get all his friends come out and play: Antonio Banderas, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo. However, my eye is constantly drawn to the screen whenever Alan Cumming makes an appearance. Kinda tough to believe this is the same guy I saw in a one-man Macbeth ten days ago. Such an amazing beyond believe performance. Seeing him here in Spy Kids, he's far more talented and outstanding than this movie deserves. Even though he probably knows that, it doesnt stop him from committing 110% to his kooky character.
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