Directed by Robert Rodriguez, starring Antonio Banderas, Carlo Gugino, Alan Cumming, Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara
With a CV that includes 'From Dusk 'Til Dawn', 'Desperado' and 'The Faculty', many would argue that Robert Rodriguez has been making children's films for years. But the Under 12's antics of 'Spy Kids' marks his first official foray into the genre – and in some style. Gregorio and Carmen Cortez (Banderas and Gugino) are spies who have swapped school runs for missions and settled down with children Carmen and Juni (Vega & Sabara) in tow. However domestic bliss goes awry when Mom and Dad discover that their former colleagues are disappearing and are called out of retirement to solve the mystery. The mystery in this case involves Fegan Floop (Cumming), an oddball TV presenter with an army of robot children and more than a passing interest in world domination. When Gregorio and Carmen are captured by Floop's cronies, it's up to Carmen and Juni to save the day – if they can stop arguing with each other.
Pitched somewhere been the swagger of James Bond and the out there ambience of Willy Wonka, 'Spy Kids' is a real treat. With his talent for breakneck pace and comic book characters, you wonder why it's taken Rodriguez so long to make such a movie, but rather than tone down his set pieces, he's just come up with different ways to put hearts in mouths, trading guns for gadgets and trigger happy henchmen for bizarre dayglo creatures. The kids are great, their chemistry is perfect and with a nod to adults with cameos from the likes of George Clooney, Cheech Marin and Richard Linklater ('Slacker', 'Dazed and Confused'), this is one film which should fill the Easter downtime nicely. Fast, fun and undoubtedly the dawn of a new franchise.