[Screen It]


(2003) (Daryl Sabara, Alexa Vega) (PG)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
None None Moderate *Mild None
Mild None Moderate None None
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
None None Minor Moderate *Moderate

Action/Adventure: A former spy kid virtually enters a three-dimensional video game to save his sister who's missing somewhere inside it.
Former "spy kid" Juni Cortez (DARYL SABARA) has retired from the OSS, but is called back to active duty by the President (GEORGE CLOONEY). It seems that an upcoming video game known as Game Over will imprison the minds of anyone who manages to get to its final fifth level. Juni's sister, Carmen (ALEXA VEGA), was virtually sent into the game earlier, but has now disappeared on the fourth level.

Accordingly, Juni and his grandfather (RICARDO MONTALBAN) travel into the game, where they have just twelve hours to find Carmen and shut down the game before it's released to the public. They've also been warned not to allow the game's maker, The Toymaker (SYLVESTER STALLONE), to escape from his virtual prison inside it, but Juni's grandfather has a longstanding grudge to settle with the Toymaker and thus sets out to find him.

Running into beta testers Arnold (RYAN JAMES PINKSTON), Rez (ROBERT VITO) and Francis (BOBBY EDNER), along with Demetra (COURTNEY JINES), who are all stuck inside the game, Juni does what he must to find his sister and save the day. He also gets some assistance from his parents, Gregorio (ANTONIO BANDERAS) and Ingrid (CARLA GUGINO), as well as others from his past.

If they're fans of the first two "Spy Kids" films, it's a good bet they will, while the 3-D angle might entice others.
For action sequences and peril.
  • DARYL SABARA plays a former spy kid who's called back to active duty to save his sister and stop the Toymaker from controlling the minds of videogame players.
  • ALEXA VEGA plays his sister who's become trapped inside the virtual game but handles herself quite well once she's freed.
  • RICARDO MONTALBAN plays Juni's grandfather who wants to find the Toymaker and settle a longstanding grudge, and enjoys the freedom the virtual world gives him from his otherwise wheelchair-bound existence.
  • SYLVESTER STALLONE plays the megalomaniacal game maker who wants to control the minds of everyone who plays his latest game.
  • ANTONIO BANDERAS and CARLA GUGINO play Juni and Carmen's parents who briefly show up at the end of the film.


    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).

    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this action-adventure film that's been rated PG. Various scenes set inside a 3-D video game feature virtual representations of real characters battling each other (hitting or knocking others around with resultant virtual "deaths" that aren't graphic and are noted by the losers disappearing or having their numerical lives counting down).

    Some of those scenes, some action-based moments of peril and high adventure, as well as some large "monster" like creatures might be unsettling, suspenseful and maybe even scary to young viewers (all dependent on their age, level of maturity, etc.). The 3-D nature of the offering might exacerbate such reactions.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while some kids might want to imitate some of the fighting, stunts and handful of colorful phrases that are present. The film's remaining categories have little or nothing in the way of major objectionable content.

    Nevertheless, if you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

  • None.
  • None.
  • The game beta-testers occasionally have bad attitudes toward Juni (because they don't want him to win and later become suspicious of him).
  • The Toymaker has a bad attitude for trapping players and wanting to control their minds.
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" might also be unsettling, suspenseful and maybe even scary for younger viewers (but older kids will likely have few if any problems with the material). The 3-D effect (where objects and creatures come out of the screen) might add to that.
  • Some younger kids might be unsettled when people act nervous that the "programmers" have been awakened, but that doesn't amount to much in the end when they actually show up.
  • Controllers outside the game state, "We have to drown them" when referring to what they have to do to Juni and the others' virtual characters so that they don't accidentally let the Toymaker loose from his virtual prison (that notion might unnerve younger kids).
  • Big mechanical monsters enter the real world and Juni and the others must contend with them (they're successful).
  • Two huge mechanical creatures pick up Juni and Carmen, with one of them preparing to eat Carmen with its large mouth, but another spy kid steps in and stops it.
  • None.
  • Phrases: "Freak," "Creepo," "Give me a break," "Sucker," "Computer nerds," "Bring it on," "Shut up," "Idiot," "You crazy old man" and "Let's kick some metal."
  • Some kids might be enticed to imitate some of the action and scenes that are on display in the film.
  • None.
  • A moderate amount of dramatic and action-oriented music plays in the film.
  • None.
  • None.
  • None.
  • None.
  • Juni worries a bit about his sister who's trapped somewhere inside the computer game.
  • The addictive properties of video games.
  • Reality vs. perception.
  • Juni's grandfather is in a wheelchair. Later, he asks, "How can I go back?" about leaving the virtual world -- where he can walk - and returning to the real world where he's wheelchair bound.
  • Arnold says he's playing the game hoping to get to the riches at Level 5 to help his family out of poverty.
  • The notion that revenge doesn't solve anything.
  • The notion that it's not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game.
  • Juni trips and falls to the street, breaking open his piggy bank.
  • Several miniature creatures battle/spar with each other.
  • A player flips virtual toad creatures around and lets one fly through the air.
  • Juni is dropped three stories into a hole where he loses one of his game lives (but is okay in reality and in the game since he has nine).
  • Juni is bounced to the moon and we see that that took another of his virtual lives.
  • Juni must battle a girl in a RoboFight where they control huge robot bodies in an arena-like setting. He accidentally hits her (actually the large body) and she then punches him in return. She then flips him over and does various wrestling moves on him (flipping, clotheslining and spinning him around). She then throws him way up into the air and he hits the ground quite hard (all in his large body). He then trips her and she crashes hard into a wall. He then rapidly runs around the top of the arena, causing her robot body to twist around and then start to fall apart when it untwists. He then uses his giant finger to push her robot down.
  • The Toymaker throws something through one of the virtual versions of himself (thus no harm is done).
  • Juni participates in a virtual road and tunnel race with the beta-tester boys. They speed down the "road" in computerized cars and motorcycles. During this, one of the other players sends electrical charges at Juni that shock him (but he's okay and sends a large pie into that player's face). As Juni holds onto a player's vehicle, that player steps down onto his hand. Juni then slides down the road and Rez ends up wiping out. Juni and another player then bump their "motorcycles" into each other and several racers crash and wipe out after ascending and then descending a very tall, vertical ramp (they lose some of their virtual lives, but come back okay). Another player sends a boxing glove on an extension rod out at Juni and eventually hits him. Juni then catches the glove, ties it off and then cuts the rope, sending the other player crashing on the road.
  • Juni and the others fall off the end of a road (and into an abyss) when they run into him (all lose virtual lives, but are okay).
  • A player tries to grab Juni with a huge clamp and does, but the race ends and nothing else happens.
  • Juni's grandfather lifts two programmers off the ground when they act menacingly toward Juni and the others.
  • A computer-game life pack hits Juni in the face.
  • Juni and Arnold end up being forced to battle each other in the computer world. Being stronger, Arnold repeatedly hits Juni with a light saber-like pole and grabs him with his claw-like appendage (both causing Juni to lose virtual lives until he's down to just .5 left). Demetra then steps in for him as a substitute, but Arnold strikes her with the pole and she dissolves away (killed in the virtual world, but with nothing graphic).
  • The Toymaker pushes one of the virtual versions of himself (that then bangs his head hard on an unseen surface).
  • Squarish "Tinker-toys," with sharp teeth and claws briefly chase after Juni and others. Juni's grandfather kicks a few, but the pursuit causes Juni and the others to jump off a cliff (but on skateboard/snowboard type objects that float and then glide across the "ground" far below them).
  • A large lava-based monster throws huge boulders of lava at Juni and the others eventually forcing them beneath the lava surface that turns out to be water. He and the others then swim to safety in a cave.
  • A character blows a door open, but is then shocked by electrical charges that wipe out his 99 lives and he dissolves away.
  • Three enormous virtual creatures come at Juni and the others and one nearly grabs him with his huge mechanical claw, but a portal is closed and cuts off that claw.
  • Vibrations cause people to fall from a wall in a lab, but we don't see any impact and don't know their status.
  • Juni's dad repeatedly strikes a huge, mechanical and somewhat gorilla-like monster, causing metal parts of it to fall from it.
  • Two huge mechanical creatures pick up Juni and Carmen, with one of them preparing to eat Carmen with its large mouth, but another spy kid steps in and stops it.
  • A huge mechanical creature comes apart and falls to the street.

  • Reviewed July 14, 2003 / Posted July 25, 2003

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