27 August 2011 | TheLittleSongbird
The worst of the series, and one of the worst movies so far this year
I thoroughly enjoyed the first two Spy Kids films, they were fun, entertaining and ideal family films. Spy Kids 3 was rather mediocre and disappointing, but any horrible assets that film had was nothing compared to this.
When I entered the theatre to watch this, yes I wanted to see it despite the trailer not looking that good, I thought if it is bad surely it can't be as bad as The Adventures of Sharkboy and LavaGirl. I was wrong, as awful as that film was Spy Kids 4 takes the cake as Rodriguez's worst film.
The film for starters looks cheap. The camera work at best is odd, and the effects lack clarity. The gadgets looked cool from the outset but once the nappy bombs for instance are introduced they lose their appeal very quickly.
I didn't think much of the soundtrack either. I found it rather generic here rather than jaunty and memorable. And Rodriguez's direction is his most unfocused and inept directing job in my opinion of his career.
The script is awful, relying far too much on tired slapstick and heavy-handed messaging, while the story is rushed and much too thin for the film's running time and the action is dull and not helped by the haphazard editing.
Acting-wise, this film is disappointing. It was nice to be Daryl Sabarra and Alexa Vega here but other than the basic concept of the movie, them and Rodriguez, there seemed to be no connection to its predecessors. The new kids do what they can, but they aren't as confident or as appealing.
Jeremy Piven does give his all into a very underwritten and uninteresting villain part and his two other roles as well but at points it feels like he's overdoing it. Danny Trejo is wasted, Antonio Banderas was cut which is yet another reason why this doesn't feel like a Spy Kids movie, Jessica Alba does nothing with her role other than look pretty, while even Ricky Gervais is flat.
The cast are not helped by how their characters are written. The characters here are so cardboard, it is difficult to engage with them on any level.
Overall, despite the trailer I was all for seeing this film. But it was awful(as part of a franchise and on its own terms) and a big disappointment. 1/10 Bethany Cox