Spy Kids: Armageddon is now available on Netflix. The film is a disappointing reboot with laughable visuals, weak performances, and a mediocre script. Robert Rodriguez‘s attempt falls short of the original trilogy’s charm, but it’s still a decent family film, despite not getting a theatrical release.
The story introduces us to the Torrez-Tango family, whose seemingly normal life is disrupted by some high-tech lockdowns. Tony Torrez-Tango, portrayed by Connor Esterson, adds a mischievous flair to the family dynamic, while Everly Carganilla‘s Patty Torrez-Tango opts for a more straightforward approach. Unbeknownst to the kids, their parents, played by Gina Rodriguez and Levi, are secret agents. When a malicious code is concealed within a video game, the fate of the world rests in the hands of these unlikely heroes.
The film begins with the original Spy Kids story but cleverly updates it to the world of video games. This shift breathes new life into the familiar plot, keeping it engaging for both young and older audiences. While some characters are missing and there are narrative tweaks, the film remains true to its roots before recontextualizing in the third act. The fresh paint on the familiar canvas is a welcome touch, though it may not satisfy those seeking a completely original story.
The cast, led by Everly Carganilla and Connor Esterson as the young spies, holds their own and carries much of the film’s weight. Gina Rodriguez and Zachary Levi step into the roles of the parents, and while they have big shoes to fill after Antonio Banderas, they manage to capture the film’s vibe effectively. The film adopts a more comedic tone during most action sequences, which generally works well, though there are moments where the humor feels forced.
Visually, Spy Kids: Armageddon has a distinct style reminiscent of the original series, evoking a sense of nostalgia for fans. The film incorporates modern video game elements, which may resonate with younger viewers. However, the specific genre of the in-film game “Hyskor” remains somewhat ambiguous.
The movie is full of delightful small details, such as the children trying to sneak past their parents without stepping on creaky floors, adding to the film’s charm. It also attempts some ambitious ideas, though they don’t always hit the mark. Nevertheless, it’s commendable that the film takes risks and tries to introduce new elements into the Spy Kids universe.
In conclusion, Spy Kids: Armageddon offers an enjoyable adventure for both fans of the original series and newcomers alike. While it relies on a familiar formula and occasionally stumbles in its execution, the film’s infusion of video game elements and a new generation of spies make it worth a watch for family audiences looking for a fun and action-packed escapade.
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