Spy Kids (2002) is yet another action flick–a nutty and charming one. I’m talking genuine charm, not Hollywood charm, thanks to director-writer Robert Rodriguez. He patently believes in what he’s doing, he can be funny, and he venerates marriage and family. (In this movie he does; I don’t know about real life: in 2006 Rodriguez left his wife and kids for actress Rose McGowan.) Even his infrequent scatology makes prepubescent sense; prepubescent is what Carmen and Juni, the spy kids, are.
Adequate Alexa Vega provides Carmen with no more and no less than what she should. Though too soft-spoken, Daryl Sabara (Juni) is sweet and facially expressive. The stronger actors are Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino as the spy kids’ spy parents. Holding the reins of it all is a talented man whose screenplay is original, not an adaptation of a children’s book. Let’s hear it for Latino heroism! (In America.)