Directed by Robert Rodriguez, starring Cayden Boyd, Taylor Lautner, Taylor Dooley, Jacob Davich, George Lopez, David Arquette and Kristin Davis.

From the creator of the 'Spy Kids' movies, Robert Rodriguez again creates a total children's film in 'The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D'. It was Robert's 7-year-old son, Racer, who conceived all the ideas in the film, which allows it to be accurately described as a child's wild imagination.

This is an action-adventure where a boy's dreamed up superhero friends come to life and join him on his exploits. The three are transported to another world where they must defeat a villain trying to rid the planet of dreams.

Max (Boyd) is an unhappy child, in the real world. His parents (Arquette and Davis) are always arguing and Linus (Davich) bullies him in school. Max keeps a journal of all his dreams. In his imaginary world he is happy, but it also makes him the laughing stock of the class. When Linus robs Max's journal, Max unconsciously calls on his two superhero friends.

Sharkboy (Lautner) is a child who was lost at sea and brought up by Great Whites. He developed gills, grew sharp teeth and a rubbery fin. Lavagirl (Dooley) was born in a volcano and has veins of golden lava. The three rocket to space in a craft dreamed up in Max's imagination and reach the place where all of Max's dreams are stored, Planet Drool. Planet Drool is quite clever, with its Train of Thought, Stream of Consciousness, Sea of Confusion and Mount Neverest roller coaster. God bless the creative puns!

It looks like the ultimate fun-land but everything changes when Max realises who else is there. The shocking Mr Electric (Lopez) and his sidekick Minus (Davich) are trying to do away with all dreams forever. Only Max can stop them by imagining every clever move of their escape and by conjuring up a gamut of cool ideas to stay one step ahead. Realising that he can daydream too, Max realises the power of turning dreams into reality.

While '...Sharkboy and Lava Girl' does a good job of tapping into a child's imagination, it's hard to imagine that quality such as 'Sin City' and this not-so-quality film came from the same person. Where magical children's films can be watched and enjoyed years after, this one definitely won't. For the majority of the time it is infantile.

The 3-D aspect, with the green and red cardboard glasses, is a mere novelty, not a necessity and technically there is nothing worth noting. The CGI is sufficient, not commendable. Also, the script is a little too drunk on cheesy puns and all of this together with bad performances from most involved will make it one not to be enjoyed by anyone over 12, or 111/2, perhaps.

Cayden Boyd, who plays the lead boy Max, is flat but the bully played by Davich is nearly likeable he's so bad, which surely sends out the wrong message! And David Arquette and Kristin Davis have probably reached new lows by appearing in this film which isn't exactly helped by their bad acting. The two seem to be floating around in La La Land.

This is a film that will only, if at all, be appreciated by children. While children put on their 3-D goggles, everyone else should be recommended to wear sleeping masks.

Patricia O'Callaghan