Spy Kids

Bomb Rating: 

As anyone with kids knows, it's almost impossible to hide anything from them. They find the Christmas presents; no matter where you hide the cookie jar they somehow get into it; and they always manage to unearth the box of methamphetamine byproducts. Nevertheless, somehow in "Spy Kids," Gregorio and Ingrid Cortez (Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino) hide from their two children -- Carmen (Alexa Vega) and Juni (Daryl Sabara) -- the fact that they were once spies and live in a house full of hidden passageways and cool equipment.

The kids only find out about mom and dad's hip past when they're kidnapped by an evil children's show host, Fegan Floop (Alan Cumming), and his assistant, Alexander Minion (Tony Shalhoub). The kids' fake uncle (Cheech Marin) comes over and shows them the fake doors and the billion-dollar submersible the parents have hiding there. It's then up to the kids to save their parents -- a real nice idea if you're a kid, but a stupid idea to anybody over ten who knows that within seconds the kids would likely be riddled with bullets and melted down to their essential nutrients.

There's an incredibly slow, boring story Ingrid tells the kids at the beginning of the movie that's essentially a fairy tale about how she and Gregorio met. The really weird thing is that as the story is acted out, Ingrid is dressed up in a manner that makes her look exactly like Melanie Griffith. This made me wonder whether Banderas has some kind of "Melanie" clause in his contract that requires his costar to look like Melanie, so he doesn't get lonely during the shoot. How spooky is that?

Even spookier is the fact that Teri Hatcher is in this film, acting with that weird quivery poodle-energy you know from the Radio Shack commercials. Sorry, but the woman gives me the creeps. How many of you have had this happen to you: You're watching TV when one of her Radio Shack commercials comes on, and a friend turns to you, looking totally depressed, and says something like, "What happened to her?" Seeing her reminds me of the day my cat got run over. It's not a good feeling.

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