Plot: What’s it about?
Carmen (Alexa Vega) and Juni (Daryl Sabara) are back and not only are they still spy kids, but they’re official OSS members, as part of a special division. Juni finds himself with a mission of utmost importance, as he must rescue the president’s daughter who is trapped atop a ride at an amusement park ride. As exciting as that kind of mission can be, Juni and Carmen must then embark on an even more crucial assignment. A device known as the Transmooker can shut down all electronic devices, a kind of epic EMP that could cause serious damage. If the device were to wind up with someone evil, it could lead to the entire world’s power supply being shut off. But this case won’t be a simple one, as the trail leads to a tropical locale where danger not only lurks around each turn, but the gadgets the siblings often rely on can’t be used. Throw in wild animals, a mad scientist, and rival spies, and Juni and Carmen more than have their hands full.
As a fan of the first Spy Kids, I looked forward to the sequel, but tried to temper my expectations. After all, sequels rarely prove to be effective, let alone as good as the originals. But with the core cast & crew back, there was a glimmer of hope for Spy Kids 2, to be sure. While the story isn’t up to snuff this time around, Spy Kids 2 compensates with more wild action and set pieces, so you might not even notice. The James Bond style content is amped up here in other words, so the stunts are bigger, the gadgets are cooler, and the Carmen and Juni seem more poised now. As I said, I do wish there would have been more of a focus on the story, especially the family dynamics, but Spy Kids 2 is still loads of fun. And this is coming from someone who doesn’t normally watch family aimed cinema whatsoever. If you enjoyed Spy Kids, you’ll find this is more of the same, only turned up a few notches. So for some family fun that should keep the entire living room interested, Spy Kids 2 is a good choice.
Video: How does it look?
Spy Kids 2 is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen. This is an impressive transfer, one that shows off impeccable clarity and the kind of detail we love to see on showcase. The visuals don’t have that film-like texture however, as the image looks slick and glossy, but that is just part of the source. The colors bound off the screen in vivid hues, contrast is dead on, and no real concerns crop up, leaving us a sharp, dynamic visual presentation.
Audio: How does it sound?
This DTS HD 5.1 soundtrack is impressive as well. The surrounds have some nice kick in the more action driven scenes, as well as when the music is present. I don’t think this is quite as boisterous as the soundtrack from the original, but it still packs a punch and is a fun mix. The dialogue remains clean and clear, so no vocals are lost in the shuffle. Not much else to report, this is a great track that should delight fans. This release also includes a Spanish language track, as well as English and Spanish subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Robert Rodriguez provides his audio comments, which prove to be of interest. He offers a nice blend of technical data and anecdotes, so there is a little something for everyone here. This release also includes some deleted scenes, multiple promotional featurettes, a music video, and the film’s theatrical trailer. A second disc houses a digital copy, to use on your portable devices of choice.