Spy Kids - All The Time In The World: "Shiit...ake Mushrooms"

Director: Robert Rodriguez
Writer:    Robert Rodriguez
Starring: Jessica Alba
                Joel McHale
                Rowan Blanchard
                Mason Cook
                Jeremy Piven
                Alexa Vega
                Daryl Sabara
                Ricky Gervais
                Danny Trejo
Rating: **

Spy Kids 4D, the 4th film in the series and also the worst. Bad 3D effects and the awful 'Aroma-Scope' (WTF) couldn't save this mess.

We open with an up the duff Marissa Wilson (Alba) doing some spy shiz. Marissa is a spy for the OSS, the corporation from the first 3 films of which they were set. Whilst she is swinging from buildings, and kicking butt, she begins to go into labour. Once she has defeated Tick-Tock (Piven) she decides to pack it in to concentrate on her family. While the scene managed to make me chuckle, the lame effects and laboured performance given by Alba stops it from really being entertaining. Plus, Piven's voice really begins to grate on you after a while.

Marissa's family are your typical dysfunctional family. Workaholic Dad Wilbur (McHale), bratty daughter Rebecca (Blanchard) and naïve playful son Cecil (Cook). Before moving on I must just say that Cecil is the most ludicrous name for a 21st century child, EVER!!! Anyway, back to the review; McHale's performance isn't great. The normally hilarious actor seemed to be holding back, but also wasn't different to anything I've seen him do before. He can play arrogant/sexy very well, but when playing a father, not so funny. The kids were bland and annoying, the appeal of the first film was the children's charm and chemistry which was seriously lacking in this film. Rebecca's storyline of hating her stepmother and then loving her by the end, was old, dull and has been done to death in plenty of other movies. Cecil (LOL) was just sort of there, he didn't add anything. While the daughter was cheeky and adventurous, he just spent the whole film vomiting and playing video games. Where as the first films had a nice balance between the two.

The return of the original spy kids, Juni & Carmen (Sabara & Vega) was a welcome addition. They were the only redeeming factor of the film, they gave the whole thing a bit of nostalgia which is what the film needed. Also the fact Rodriguez decided to give them a backstory for the last 7 years was nice, it meant they had their own storyline, rather than just being props for the new kids. They slipped into their characters well, and are one of the reasons the film got 2 stars not 1.

The reason the film will never get 3 stars is because of the dog Argonaut (Gervais). A. I can't stand him, B. his performance is lazy and dull, and C. I can't stand him. His voice is so full of arrogance and self importance, which may be fine for his 'comedy', but for a children's film it is silly and pretty irritating. Speaking of irritating voices Tick-Tock (Piven), as the villain is so damn annoying!!! Now it isn't Piven's fault, but the voice is really high-pitched and annoying. The character is also a pretty uninspiring villain. While a backstory is attempted, it doesn't work and I failed to feel sorry for him at all.

Overall, it is pretty uninspiring and not worth going to the cinema for. The Aroma-Scope doesn't work because all of the smells smell the same, and the 3D is used as a cheap gimmick to get an audience. Now I am a huge fan of Rodriguez's work, which is the other reason I gave the film 2 not 1, so I don't want to be to harsh on the film. But, nothing he did helped the film and nearly ruined the fun and integrity of the first 3. If you want to keep the first 3 as a happy childhood memory, I recommend avoiding this at all costs; and if you haven't seen the first 3, watch them, not this one.