Hello, Spongey here.
I think it’s time to cover a movie that isn’t actually bad for this year. I also wanted to get another franchise done with so here we are. I’ve been covering the Spy Kids franchise on this blog over the years, starting with the weaker last two entries.Than finally last year my brother had my cover the first one to see how well it hold ups.
It held up reasonably well so I’m here to finally close it out. I wanted this done with sooner rather than later and this was a good one to easily pick for review. My picks for this year so far have been very “Eh, this will work”, weird.
Anyway, there isn’t much to say going on. Spy Kids proved to be a big hit so of course a sequel was quickly made and released the following year. It opened to good box office and decent, if unremarkable, reviews. It’s seen as the in-between, lesser than the first but not as bad as the ones that followed.
I feel doing the trilogy so fast lead to the problems they run into but we’ll judge that more by the end. I remember having my problems but still thinking it was fine. Does that still hold true? We’ll find out. The crew of Robert Rodriguez is still the same so we can jump in.
Does this sequel live up to the decently enjoyable first one? Let’s find out.
This, is Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams
The movie begins at an amusement park, as the president’s daughter is presenting it I guess. Please don’t make me bust out the political jokes again. She goes on a fast ride but gets stuck. Or she jammed it on purpose, it’s hard to tell.
I like the part where the Secret Service tells people they’re gonna help then one tells another there’s nothing we can do. They need some smaller agents to deal with this so that’s where Carmen and Juni come in. The adults say they may need backup and just bring it before anything happens to warrant it.
That backup would two extra child agents, Gary and Gerti Giggles, kids of Donnagon Giggles. The latter of which is played by Emily Osment. They try to rescue the president’s daughter but she wants her father here because this is all just a cry for attention. Did you seriously need to put yourself in danger though?
Juni says he will get her father to have a real talk with him and they eventually get her down. These new agents already prove themselves to be cooler and with better gadgets, so yeah we’re going with that kind of plot-line today, joy.
After the title sequence, the OSS is having an awards thing where they hope dad will be named the new director. We get some mingling, and Juni meets up with the president’s daughter. They start to hit off and we get a dance scene. I like how it starts to get very dramatic, than this guy interrupts it as the thing is about to start.
Instead of dad, Donnagon Giggles is named director of OSS, which everyone finds a bit wrong. It does give him an excuse to have a toast to his Spy Kids 2 Island of Lost dreams though. Damn, now I wish that when Juni and Carmen met the other Spy Kids one of them said “We’re Spy Kids too!”
Then some bad guys show up, as they are after this device that can shut off electronics. Juni and Gary fight over it and end up dropping it, allowing a bad guy to take it and they take their leave. It was mostly Gary’s fault by the way. However, Juni gets the full blame. Thus, Juni is fired.
Damn, one slip up and he’s terminated? That’s not exactly fair. Carmen uses her “being the superior character” powers to hack into OSS and spy on a meeting where the Giggles’ are getting their next mission. They must recover that stolen device. Carmen then hacks further to put Juni back as an agent and get them that assignment.
First off, so that was pointless. Second, they are gonna notice right away how odd it is that an agent that messed up is suddenly rehired. This plan should not work. It’d be one thing if they went out anyway to outdo them but this is a bit odd.
So a bit later, they head out on their mission. They actually bump into Gary and Gerti who roast their tech but otherwise don’t question anything. Again, odd. They go underwater in a sub type thing to locate this mysterious island (no word if there any lost dreams there yet) where a trail leads to.
They call up Floop, the former bad guy from the first movie, for help. Actually, they ask Alexander Minion who says that Donnagon could be behind this, and they should hit up the island to find out more. They were basically about to that anyway so you weren’t of much help besides stating what was obvious.
The sub runs into trouble so they put on suits to leave the thing. They basically become giant life preservers which at least gets the job done in getting them to the surface.
“Well, we can still laugh”
Oh come on, this ain’t that unfunny.
Meanwhile, Carmen used her hacking to give the Giggles’ a mission to the Gobi desert where they fall into camel poop. See, now that was unfunny. Ew. We then get a scene with the parents which was overdue. We find out there was a falling out with the kids’ grandfather and mom wants to invite him over. This is a bit of a random thing to just drop at the 40 minute mark.
They catch wind of what happened with the kids, and head out to save them. Their parents arrive though, with Grandpa being played by Ricardo Montalban. There isn’t enough time for the reunion as they gotta head out. Carmen and Juni make it to the island where they set up camp.
Then the Giggles’ figure out what is going on and make it there in record time. Damn maybe they are better agents. Through some events I honestly wasn’t paying attention to, Carmen and Juni ends up dangling over a volcano. They fall in but it turns out to be a bottomless pit as they keep falling for a few hours. Their reactions to this are pretty fun.
As it turns out, there is a bottom as they end up on the liar/lab thing of the island sole human inhabitant. That is Romero, played by Steve Buscemi. He explains that he was trying to create mini-animals to use in zoos. This includes hybrid animals, so now we know where that thing from that ANT Farm episode came from. The problem is he made a growth serum for some reason and the animals became giant. They took over the island so now he lives down here in fear.
Then we get the line you’ve all been waiting for:
“Do you think God stays in heaven because he too lives in fear of what he created?”
Damn. Seriously, they had to have gotten that from somewhere because I refuse to believe Robert Rodriguez came up with that for Spy Kids 2. In any other movie this would be pretentious but in this it’s so deep it’s out of place.
Anyway, they go outside to save the Giggles’ as they find out they got here. They do this very quickly so nevermind, they are the better agents again. They make it back to Romero.
“We’re kids, not monsters”
“What’s the difference?”
Juni tells the Giggles’ all about how suspicious their dad is being but they don’t believe him. There’s more detail to it but basically Carmen plays the both sides card, which is annoying. Back with the parents, the grandparents have followed them and snuck onto the sub thing they’re in. …That’s all I have to say about that scene.
Juni and Carmen head out to get the device, while the president’s daughter gets a message Juni sent out earlier. Oh yeah she was a thing, huh? It’s only about the stuff with her father and nothing too important happens anyway. This plot has its issues. Carmen realizes they have tracking devices in their mouths and figures their parents are using them.
They think Donnagon wants them all the island to destroy them so they break the devices. Boy it would suck if their parents were already on their way and may get lost as a result from this. Oh wow that’s exactly what happens. It leads to some bickering but at least this all gives Ricardo something to do.
The kids bump into one of the creatures. At this point I should say the effects on them are clearly meant to emulate Ray Harryhusen style stop motion. It would have been to just use stop motion but it works okay. Perhaps it is just a way to excuse crappy CGI…and it is, but at least there’s an excuse.
Anyway, they end up in some temple that gives them the power of Thought-Speak I guess. They just move on from that though and look further.
“Is there any other kind?”
That’s offensive to all the living skeletons out there.
Speaking of which, these bony boys indeed come to life and attack them. Carmen gets taken, leaving Juni all alone. He bumps into a centaur who actually isn’t so bad. But then Gary shows up with a creature of his own and they fight. Is there really time for this, don’t you have a job to do?
Carmen escapes and saves Juni when he’s on his last ropes, confirming that she is indeed the best character. She sets her eyes on Gary.
“I don’t want to hurt you”
“You’re so full of shit…take mushrooms”
Nice. Even the skeletons are like “Oh man, sick burn”. They drop all this and the kids make it to the device. How do they know its what they are looking for?
“It’s big and weird, and in the middle of the room”
Donagon shows up and asks for the device. They hand it over to one of the creatures who plans to take it their nest. But Gerti knows where that is, so that plan failed. Thankfully Carmen gets the device first and then soon after the parents show up. But then Donogan pops up again to take it. And also Uncle Felix betrays them because…reasons.
He has Gerti work on the device but she defies him and deactivates it,.
“Just wait til mom finds out you’ve been trying to take over the world again”
I really wanna that conversation for some reason.
That takes care of him, as the president shows up to cart him away. That scene with the daughter lead somewhere after all. Speaking of payoff, there’s a nice bit with the grandparents.
Everyone says their goodbyes and Juni tells the president’s daughter that he is leaving the OSS. Don’t worry, the third movie resolves this in like the first 10 minutes. I remember this being a bigger plot point for reason. Also, Romero is nice with the creatures and yada ya.
With that, they leave and roll credits. Yep, pretty abrupt ending this time. But during the credits, there’s some concert where Carmen is forced to sing because they wanted to give Alex Vega a music career I think. I like how even in universe she uses autotone. Then near the end of the credits, the amusement park owner wants a deal with Romero. Whatever, we’re done.
I surprisingly don’t have much to say about this one. What I said about the first one applies here somewhat. I still found this enjoyable for a lot of the same reasons. It does end up being weaker though, due to the plot just being lesser. There are some wonky parts, like the president’s daughter only kinda being important and the grandparents randomly dropping in around the midway point.
It’s not the most tightly written plot in the world. Not that the firs one did but it was certainly did fare better. Some elements could have been done better as well but as a whole it was still enjoyable. It just got a bit rushed near the end.
The rest mostly fared alright, with some fun stuff for most of it. There really isn’t much to say there. The island setting mixed things up nicely and it’s always nice to have Steve Buscemi around. These additions help keep it float through the weaker bits.
…And yeah, that’s about it. It is a step down but has enough of the charm to make it good enough for me. They couldn’t quite keep this up but ah well. I’m sure they made these fast so that they got what they wanted before the kids got too old. Either way, it’s a fine sequel that is a step down but isn’t too bad either.
At least we’re finally all done with it…minus that Netflix cartoon. Maybe someday.
You can tell when I’m not super into doing some of these. But hey, we need variety on the blog, especially during slow months, so here we are. This also does it for the Robert Rodriguez kid stuff in general. As for We Can Be Heroes, it’s okay. I don’t remember much about it though, which is a bit sad.
Anyway…that’s about it, I guess. No idea what’s next, May will be a break from these but hopefully in June we’ll have a ripe one.