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SPYkids 2: the Island of Lost Dreams
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Children's action adventures don't come any more sophisticated than director Robert Rodriguez's slick and colourful sequel to his 2001 hit
. Reflecting the increasing maturity of today's youngsters, it's tailor-made to satisfy their demanding tastes and imaginations. This time around, the Cortez kids - Carmen and Juni (Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara) - are on a mission to investigate the mysterious volcanic island inhabited by a mad scientist (Steve Buscemi) and his hybrid animal creations. In a playful homage to effects specialist Ray Harryhausen's style of stop-motion animation, these mutant monsters (including fantastic
Jason and the Argonauts
-type skeletons) add extra excitement to the thrill-packed feature. Rodriguez utilises high production values and rapid pacing to perfection, particularly during the wonderful opening scenes in an amusement park. This makes the pint-sized espionage caper every bit as stylish and inventive as a Bond film - only unlike 007, the flashy set pieces and hi-tech gadgets are as humorous as they are clever. If only more movies were as good as this family treat.
The pint-sized secret agents investigate a mad scientist who has meddled with powerful forces and created a host of bizarre mutant animals. However, the villain is not the only problem they have to face, as another pair of youngsters are determined to outshine them. Family adventure sequel, starring Antonio Banderas, Steve Buscemi and Carla Gugino.
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