Spy Kids is a film made by people who love both movies and families. Director Robert Rodriguez fills the screen with funny and fantastic images like bad guys made out of thumbs (who don't catch very well because they are. . .well. . .all thumbs), kidnapped good guys whose heads have been formed into shapes that recall Dick Tracy villains, and a car that turns instantly into an underwater ship. Rodriguez also utilizes his editing skills to create action scenes that are as entertaining (though far less violent) than his work in El Mariachi and Desperado. The visual largess of the picture does not overwhelm the solid human story at the center of the film. Carmen and Juni, who spend much time teasing each other, learn that they must believe in themselves and each other. Sure, that sounds like a gooey moral, but Rodriguez doesn't hammer it home. He knows that the kids in the audience will be intelligent enough to get it all on their own. Near the end of the picture, Juni is told, "You were pure of heart and pure of mind." The same can be said for Spy Kids, a funny and sweet family film that entertains without dumbing itself down for either children or parents.
by Perry Seibert review