A Couple Reviews: Spy Kids

This week we decided to watch Spy Kids on Netflix. This movie was one that Kay and her siblings watched often growing up and Drew also had many fond memories of the film from his childhood. It was fun for us to go back and watch a childhood classic. 

The Plot

Spy Kids follows the Cortez family’s secret spy life. The children and protagonists, Juni and Carmen find out that their parents are spies when their home is invaded by Thumb Thumbs, robots whose appendages are thumbs, created by the “villain” in the show and their uncle is not really their uncle but a spy assigned to guard them. The children then decide to rescue their parents with the help of an assortment of gadgets. Through the hijinks that ensue, it is discovered that previously missing secret agents have been forcibly turned into children’s show mascots and the villain that runs the show is no more than a genius obsessed with his show. The real villain is his minion that owes a bad guy an army and wants to give him an army of kids modeled off of high ranking official’s kids. To make the kids he has to acquire an AI created by the protagonists’ dad. In the end, the family comes together and defeats the bad guys and live happily ever after as a spy family. 

Our Verdict

Is Spy Kids worth a re-watch now? Unfortunately, this movie has not really aged well. The technology which is supposed to look futuristic looks super dated in 2019. It is funny that what was so cool and futuristic as children now looks like something from 40 years ago. We especially remember some of the “tech” released in Mcdonald’s Happy Meals and how they even then looked a bit dated. The special effects look like they came from an early PS2 game but at the time engaged children of all ages. It is clear that the movie does fill its role. It’s a good kid’s movie. It teaches good lessons about family and finding a place to belong. As long as you’re coming into watching the movie for nostalgia or as a kid I feel it’s worth a watch but I would not recommend it for anything else. 

Drew’s Doubts

I forgot how contrived the plot is. The most useful tool the kids had was electroshock gum. It apparently was a skeleton key that could get them out of any situation. The next complaint I have is that the true uncle didn’t want to save his brother because of a beef they had that both of them forgot was stupid and could have been used to develop the characters more. 

Kay’s Criticisms

I still love this movie even after all these years but I think that I am seeing it with a nostalgic lens. I remember playing spy kids with my brothers after the release of this movie. We felt empowered by the characters who were our age and could fight bad guys. Christmas following this film’s release resulted in many spy toys from Santa. I felt sad rewatching the brother/sister relationship stereotype. Clearly, Carmen bullied her brother for his bodily features (warts) which would not really happen in today’s politically correct children’s shows. I would also say that some of the humor felt outdated which is reasonable given the time that has passed. 

What do you think about Spy Kids? Comment Below.

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