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"SPY KIDS"
(2001) (Antonio Banderas, Alexa Vega) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor Minor Heavy *Moderate Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Heavy None *Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
None None Mild Moderate *Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Action/Adventure: When some kids discover that their parents have been kidnapped because they're former super spies, they set out to rescue them and stop the villains and their diabolical plans.
PLOT:
Carmen (ALEXA VEGA) and Juni Cortez (DARYL SABARA) are some normal kids who think they have normal, everyday parents. Unbeknownst to them, however, their father, Gregorio (ANTONIO BANDERAS), and mother, Ingrid (CARLA GUGINO), were formerly super spies who once hunted down each other, before falling in love, settling down and starting a family.

Now nine years after they gave up the spook business, they've received news that various OSS agents have been disappearing, with Gregorio suspicious that they've been converted into cartoon like characters on a popular TV kids show hosted by Fegan Floop (ALAN CUMMING). Accordingly, they set out to uncover the truth and so call in "Uncle" Felix (CHEECH MARIN) to watch over the kids.

It's not long after that, however, that Felix receives a distress call and informs the kids of the truth, all while battling some villains and sending the kids off in an escape pod headed for a "safe house." Armed with the message that "the third brain lives," and suddenly thrust into the roles of being their parents' rescuers, Carmen and Juni try to figure out what's going on, and begin piecing together the story when Ms. Gradenko (TERRY HATCHER) shows up with a collection of henchmen, claiming to be an OSS agent and longtime friend of their parents.

They soon realize that Gradenko is a villain who's after the miniaturized brain for Floop and his right-hand man, Minion (TONY SHALHOUB), who need the brain to complete the army of child robots they're building for head villain, Mr. Lisp (ROBERT PATRICK). After a chase and several close calls, the kids learn more information from their estranged Uncle Machete (DANNY TREJO) and then set out to battle the robot kids - two of which are exact copies of them - stop the villains, and rescue their parents.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Since it's aimed squarely at the pre-teen set, it's a good bet that many of them probably will want to see it.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For action sequences.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • ALEXA VEGA plays one half of the kid-based set, a girl who discovers that her parents are spies and have been kidnapped and then shows bravery and fortitude in finding and rescuing them. Although she initially doesn't like always having to watch over her brother, she changes her ways by the end of the film.
  • DARYL SABARA plays her younger brother, a somewhat skittish boy who has few friends but also shows bravery and resilience in dealing with the various problems and obstacles thrown his way.
  • ANTONIO BANDERAS and CARLA GUGINO plays their parents, former spies who mostly gave up the business to raise their family, but are drawn back in to battle Floop and his diabolical plan.
  • ALAN CUMMING plays the flamboyant host of a kids TV show who's also agreed to supply Mr. Lisp with an army to take over the world in exchange for a handsome payment. Although he's initially the bad guy, he changes his mind midstream and helps the kids battle the true villains.
  • TONY SHALHOUB plays Floop's right-hand man who usurps Floop's control once he gains possession of the third brain for his robotic kids.
  • CHEECH MARIN plays the kids' "uncle" who watches over them when their parents are called away on a mission.
  • DANNY TREJO plays the kids' estranged uncle who doesn't really want to help them rescue their parents, but eventually changes his mind.
  • TERRY HATCHER plays a spy who tries to trick the kids into thinking she's good, when she's really working for Floop and Lisp.
  • ROBERT PATRICK plays the head villain who's paying Floop and Minion to supply him with an undefeatable army so that he can take over the world.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick summary of the content found in this PG-rated film that's aimed squarely at kids. All sorts of cartoonish, action-adventure violence occurs, with some of it being of the slapstick variety (people accidentally being hit, knocked down, thrown about, etc.), while other bits include some brief fighting and various villains chasing/pursuing the young heroes.

    While nearly all of it's played far more for action rather than realistic or explicit violence, younger kids could possibly find some of the material as a bit unsettling, tense, or even scary, all depending on the child's age, level of maturity and tolerance for such material. Possibly objectionable language consists of a few colorful phrases, although one character gets away - to a degree - with saying the "s" word by pausing her vocal delivery of the word "shitake" midstream.

    The villains all have varying degrees of bad attitudes (of the cartoon variety), a few instances of scatological humor are present, and the kids briefly worry about their kidnapped parents (in what turns out to be a very pro-family flick). Should you still be concerned about the film and its appropriateness for anyone in your home who may want to see it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what's present and occurs in the film.



    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see Gregorio and Ingrid with wine.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see Juni moments after being done on a toilet that retracts back into a wall and announces that it's now "flushing your poop."
  • Machete has dinner with the kids and tells Juni to pass the pig intestines and we see some of them fall onto the table.
  • While scuba diving, one of the kids mentions that the water is warmer in a certain section and the other states that's because they just peed in it.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The various villains, including Floop, Minion and Lisp all have bad attitudes for their various diabolical plans, and we learn that Ms. Gradenko is also a "bad guy" (but everything's presented in a very cartoonish fashion).
  • We hear that Carmen has been skipping school lately.
  • A kid at school picks on/makes fun of Juni, and his large father then intimidates Gregorio in a mean fashion.
  • Minion eventually turns on Floop, imprisoning him in his own compound while usurping his power.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Younger kids might find some of the film's action sequences (which occur throughout the film and increase in duration and frequency toward the end) as intense, unsettling and maybe even frightening, all depending on the child's age, level of maturity and tolerance for such material (but most of it's played for action rather than true scares). That includes scenes listed under "Violence" as well as:
  • In a flashback we see helicopters raiding Gregorio and Ingrid's wedding, with everyone fleeing and the two of them running and jumping off a cliff (but each has a parachute).
  • Driving in a car that's now turned into a submarine, Gregorio and Ingrid finds themselves being chased underwater and then suddenly come across a large craft that opens up and "swallows" their sub/car (they're okay).
  • Alarms go off in the Cortez house and Uncle Felix races to get the kids to safety. They then see various bad guys breaking through the windows and briefly fighting with Felix until eventually capturing him. The bad guys then approach the kids who then escape in an escape pod that blasts from the house.
  • Various bad guys in speedboats then race and chase after the kids in their escape pod (in an action sort of way) and drive over top of a fisherman's boat (he jumps out of the way) before crashing into land (just as the escape pod dives below the surface of the water (we only briefly see an explosion from under the water and don't know the condition of the bad guys who were chasing them). During that, Juni briefly hangs from the front of the escape pod as it races along the surface of the water.
  • Carmen makes Juni cover his eyes as various menacing looking sharks briefly swim past their underwater craft (the kids are safe inside, but can see everything through a large, clear window).
  • While running through one of Floop's hallways, the floor suddenly gives way between Gregorio and Ingrid, revealing an incredibly deep shaft below it. It then gives way below Gregorio and he thinks he's going to fall, but discovers a clear acrylic floor over top the hole, and he's okay.
  • After escaping from some bad guys via a jet-powered backpack, Carmen scoops up Juni and flies across the city. He suddenly realizes he's slipping from her grip and then falls away from her, hurtling toward the street below. However, she manages to catch him in time and they continue flying.
  • After sending a playground merry-go-round spinning around at incredible speeds, the Carmen robot jumps onto it and comes after Juni.
  • Carmen and Juni encounter the same breakaway floor as did their parents, but this time Carmen actually falls through it and disappears down the long and seemingly endless shaft (but is okay).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Electroshock gumballs: Used to shock and thus disable some of Floop's henchman/robots.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Freak," "You little brat," "Meat head," "Booger breath," "Diaper baby," "Oh…shiitake mushrooms" (with a pause in the word "shiitake" to make it sound like one is preparing to say just the "s" word) and "You little squirt."
  • To annoy Carmen, Juni repeats everything she says.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of dramatically adventurous as well as traditionally suspenseful music plays during the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 uses of "Oh my God" as exclamations, with one character somewhat getting away with saying the "s" word by stating, "Oh, shiitake mushroom" (and stretching out the shiitake word with a pause in the middle of it).
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • None.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • The kids briefly worry about their parents with Juni stating in one scene that they're never going to see them again.
  • We learn that Machete is the kids' real uncle, but that his relationship with their father is somewhat strained.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The strong pro-family message that the film exhibits, as well as having heroes who have their own problems (that certain kids can identify with such as Juni having few friends and Carmen evidently having bed-wetting problems) but still manage to save the day.
  • Real-life spies and whether they're anything like the ones displayed here.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Most of what's listed below is played for cartoonish action/adventure rather than realistically portrayed or graphic violence.
  • In a flashback, Ingrid knocks off the head of an ice sculpture of a swan (from being nervous about getting married).
  • As helicopters raid Gregorio and Ingrid's wedding from the air, various people flee and some are knocked down.
  • While hanging from some boot camp type training bars in their home, Carmen kicks Juni as he was slipping, causing him to land on the trampoline below and then onto the floor. He then picks up a dumbbell and throws it at her, but hits something else instead that breaks upon impact.
  • A kid at school picks on/makes fun of Juni, and his large father then intimidates Gregorio in a mean fashion. Gregorio then grabs this man and heaves him across the schoolyard, sending him crashing through a window (and all of the kids cheer). This, however, turns out to be Gregorio's daydream/wish of what he could do to the man.
  • A robot kid rushes out, grabs Mr. Lisp by the bottom of his pants leg, and sends him falling to the floor.
  • Some bad guys break into the Cortez house through the windows and briefly fight with Uncle Felix (in an action/cartoon sort of way rather than with graphic violence) with him punching or backhanding them until they grab him (and the video feed the kids were watching stops).
  • Various bad guys in speedboats then race and chase after the kids in their escape pod (in an action sort of way) and drive over top of a fisherman's boat (he jumps out of the way) before crashing into land (just as the escape pod dives below the surface of the water (we only briefly see an explosion from under the water and don't know the condition of the bad guys who were chasing them, although we saw a few jump out of their boats).
  • While trying to get a lunch box of some sort off his arm (where it's currently handcuffed), Juni tries hitting it on a wall, but it simply bounces off and bonks him on the head, knocking him to the floor.
  • When Carmen and Juni discovers that some people are the bad guys, they throw various objects at them and one man's head hits a revolving ceiling fan as he tries to nab one of the kids (but there's no blood/serious injury). Carmen backhands a guy out of the way, Gradenko's head hits a table and Juni accidentally hits a guy on the head with the above lunch box as the bad guys try to grab the kids. More villains are hit by a jet-powered backpack that's flying around the room and knocks Gradenko back into a chair and catches her hair on fire (it's quickly put out, but we later see her with only some strands of hair left on her now otherwise bare head).
  • Some bad guys crash into each other as they fly after Carmen with their jet-powered backpacks and Carmen punches another bad guy in the face and various bad guys then crash through a billboard.
  • Upset with how a rehearsal for his TV show has gone, Floop hits one of his sidekicks on the leg, causing him to spin around out of control.
  • The Carmen robot picks up the real Juni, while the Juni robot grabs the real Carmen. She then punches the robot in the face, which only hurts her hand. The girl robot then throws Juni across a playground (he's okay). Carmen then tries to head-butt the boy robot, but only hurts her own head doing so.
  • As Juni and Carmen fly a small spy jet, its wings are clipped off and its landing gear knocked off when they hit various rock formations, and they bail out just before it crashes and explodes into the side of Floop's rocky fortress.
  • Carmen quickly chews up an electroshock gumball and then throws it at a thumb creature (a full-sized anthropoid that's completely comprised of huge thumbs for its head, arms and legs), shocking it unconscious.
  • An electroshock bubble drops and zaps four of the thumb creatures, shocking and rendering them unconscious.
  • Juni knocks down a thumb creature that turns out to be Carmen in a costume.
  • Gregorio grabs Minion and throws him down onto a table.
  • The Carmen robot rapidly spins Juni around and around and then throws him down a hallway.
  • The Juni robot bends Carmen's arm behind her. To show how strong she is, the Carmen robot then punches out part of a concrete wall. The real Juni tries to do the same, but only hurts his hand doing so. The Carmen robot then gets shocked but isn't disabled.
  • Some bad guys briefly struggle with the parents, and we then see that the parents have knocked out four of them.
  • The Cortez family prepares to battle the army of robot kids, but the latter instead attack the many villains, playfully tossing them into the air.



  • Reviewed March 21, 2001 / Posted March 30, 2001

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