Spy Kids | Chicago Reader

Spy Kids

90 minutes

After a string of duds, writer-director Robert Rodriguez (El mariachi) redeems himself with this inspired family film (2001), a slyly subversive adventure tale for children and adults alike. Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino, married ex-spies, are kidnapped by the host of a demented kids' program (Alan Cumming), and their son and daughter (Daryl Sabara and Alexa Vega) must come to the rescue, battling the villain's outlandish minions to save the planet. Despite losing some steam in the last half hour, the story is a perfect vehicle for Rodriguez's hyperkinetic style; Cary White's splendid production design at times recalls The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. With Tony Shalhoub, Robert Patrick, and Cheech Marin.

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