Spy Kids 3-D: Rico Torres
April 25, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over

Current Status
In Season
86 minutes
Wide Release Date
Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Daryl Sabara, Alexa Vega, Steve Buscemi, George Clooney, Alan Cumming, Salma Hayek, Cheech Marin, Ricardo Montalban, Bill Paxton, Ryan Pinkston, Tony Shalhoub, Sylvester Stallone, Holland Taylor, Danny Trejo, Elijah Wood
Robert Rodriguez
Dimension Films
Robert Rodriguez
Action Adventure, Kids and Family
We gave it a B

Another year, another ”Spy Kids” movie. but this time, something’s different: There’s a new dimension to all the little-league espionage. ”I always wanted to do a 3-D movie,” says writer-director-editor-composer-caterer Robert Rodriguez. ”I wanted to make ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ in 3-D. But it was going to be cumbersome, so we ended up abandoning that idea.” Thanks to advances in high-definition digital moviemaking, there’s nothing cumbersome about 3-D now: Rodriguez has used it to put the Cortez siblings, Carmen and Juni (Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara), into a dangerously immersive videogame designed by yet another evil genius, this time played by Sylvester Stallone. ”He made a video for his kids [while he was on set],” Vega recalls of the erstwhile Italian Stallion. ”He said to them, ‘Look, I’m doing a kids’ movie — something you can actually be proud of me for.’ He had Daryl and myself come on and say, ‘Listen to your father!”’

Since the 3-D process is instantaneous, the cast could see the final product right after Rodriguez called cut. ”He sets up this screen, and you’d put on these glasses and look at yourself in 3-D,” Vega says. What’s more, the effect won’t require reconfiguring conventional movie projectors, ensuring wide distribution. Once audiences slip on their glasses, they’ll see a beefed-up, superenhanced…Ricardo Montalban? ”He rides a giant mech-bot,” Rodriguez says, divulging a bit of plot, which involves the actor (who returns from the previous film to play Carmen and Juni’s wheelchair-bound spy grandfather) entering the game to help Juni rescue Carmen from digital imprisonment. Inside the game, he becomes spry and Khan-like.

But, according to Vega, the real enhancement was the number of children on set — apparently, word has spread among Rodriguez’s friends that his shoots make great day-care centers. ”Everyone brings their kids,” she says. ”And [all those kids end up] in the movie. You watch the dailies and you’re like, ‘Oh, that’s so-and-so’s daughter! We just had a cake fight before this scene!”’

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