SPY KIDS 3D: GAME OVER is exuberant, spirited and playful, a rollicking romp filled with dazzling effects, a TRON for the 21st Century. It’s another successful family movie from Robert Rodriguez, who first made his name producing adult thrillers with a Latino edge, like EL MARIACHI and DESPERADO.
GAME OVER opens with Juni Cortez telling viewers that he’s left the OSS spy agency and become a private detective, finding lost toys and rescuing cats from trees. When his sister, Carmen, gets trapped in a video game designed by an evil genius named “The Toymaker,” the OSS recruits Juni to go into the insidious game to rescue her. With help from his handicapped grandfather, who lost the use of his legs because of The Toymaker, Juni sets out to conquer the first three levels of the video game so that he can get to Level 4 where The Toymaker has imprisoned Carmen. Juni is afraid, however, that his grandfather may seek revenge against The Toymaker, releasing him from the cyberspace world in which the OSS imprisoned him.
Rodriguez has gone one step further in the third SPY KIDS movie. In this one, he creates a complete fantasy world filled with robots, creatures, surrealistic images, and computer graphics. Some of the monsters might be a little too scary for younger children, but the images Rodriguez creates are simply outstanding. If you and your children can get beyond the cumbersome 3D glasses, you and they will have a thoroughly enjoyable time, despite some exaggerated acting at times that breaks the illusion. Once again, Daryl Sabara and Alexa Vega do a wonderful job as Juni and Carmen. Despite his real-life health problems, Ricardo Montalban, as the kindly but tough grandfather, recalls his powerful work in the pop culture classic STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KLHAN, only this time he gets to play a good guy. Sylvestor Stallone adds a delightful touch of lunacy in his role as the off-kilter Toymaker.
Best of all, SPY KIDS 3D has many spiritual parallels.
First of all, it demonstrates the Christian, video game expression “new level, new devil?” The evil video game shows a progression of warfare with jumping frogs, giant robot fight, tinker toy guys, a lava monster, and, finally the big bad devil himself, Sylvester Stallone. In our everyday lives as Christians, we will face many new devils, and some old ones, as we grow toward Christian maturity.
The movie also extols family in that the boy calls his infirm grandfather into the game and draws on his wisdom at every turn. Especially noteworthy is Ricardo Montalban’s great speech about forgiveness, humility, patience, and other virtues. His speech gives the movie its strong Christian premise at the end – that forgiveness conquers sin, or evil, and brings redemption.
There is, however, a politically correct reference to “everyone is family,” which is questioned as absurd at the beginning, but which is played out fully at the end, but in a good way. The six children who accompanied one of our reviewers can’t wait to go back. They felt they were really inside the coolest video game in the world.
Bravo to the filmmakers for making a high-tech kid thriller with such incredible messages!
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SUMMARY: In SPY KIDS 3D: GAME OVER, Juni Cortez must rescue his sister, Carmen, trapped in a video game controlled by the evil Toymaker. Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez imagines a complete fantasy world filled with amazing robots, creatures, surrealistic images, and other computer graphics. It is full of heart, moral virtues and strong Christian principles.
(CCC, BBB, PC, V) Very strong Christian worldview where forgiveness conquers evil and redeems the sinner, plus strong moral elements regarding family, humility, and love with one politically correct element stretches the definition of family a little bit; no foul language; non-threatening action violence, but some of the monsters might be a little scary for younger children, including two children use robots to fight each other in video game setting, video game race with crashes, monsters chase children in video game, lava threatens children and adult, and people fight video game robots that have entered the real world; and, nothing else objectionable.
GENRE: Spy Thriller/Comedy