Robert Rodriguez attempts to continue his family-friendly junior spy series with Jessica Alba as a top-level spy/stepmother who, unbeknownst to her “spy hunting” husband Wilbur (Joel McHale), recruits her stepchildren (Rowan Blanchard and Mason Cook) into the business of saving the world from the nefarious schemes of the Time Keeper. There’s a real aim here to hammer home the message that parents and children should spend as much time together as possible rather than putting it off until the time and the situation is right. Certainly a noble idea, but it's wrapped up in an ultra-corny package that is actually working on a pre-juvenile level (and even at that, it might insult the intelligence of the pre-schoolers in the audience).
In addition, besides his usual one-man-band approach to filmmaking, Rodriguez takes moviemaking to the fourth dimension by introducing smells into the mix, another goofy experiment gone awry. If only Rodriguez would grow up (and I’m referring to his violent adult fantasies as well), because his savant-like skills could create another timely gem to rival his early Mariachi claims to fame. Bottom line, though, is that it's definitely time for him to leave the Spy Kids behind once and for all. Grade: D-
Opens Aug. 19. Check out theaters and show times, see the trailer and get theater details here.