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DVD Review: Spy Kids: All the Time in the World

November 22, 2011

Spy Kids: All the Time in the World – An Alliance Films’ Release

DVD Release Date: November 22nd, 2011

Rated PG for some language

Running time: 89 minutes

Robert Rodriguez (dir.)

Robert Rodriguez (writer)

Robert Rodriguez (music)

Carl Thiel (music)

Jessica Alba as Marissa Wilson

Joel McHale as Wilbur Wilson

Rowan Blanchard as Rebecca Wilson

Mason Cook as Cecil Wilson

Our reviews below:


Spy Kids: All the Time in the World DVD Review By John C.

*1/2 (out of 4)

What Rebecca (Rowan Blanchard) and Cecil Wilson (Mason Cook) don’t know about their step-mother Marissa (Jessica Alba) is that she is actually a secret agent who won’t even let a bulging baby bump get in the way of taking out the bad guys.  But when the evil timekeeper (Jeremy Piven) threatens to end the world by speeding up the clocks, the entire family finds themselves thrust into the roles of stopping the villain.  With the help of an annoying robotic dog (voice of Ricky Gervais), they discover that time spent saving time can count as family time.

Robert Rodriguez has made some family films that can be enjoyed by those of all ages, but Spy Kids: All the Time in the World unfortunately isn’t one of them.  The first Spy Kids was a fun adventure movie for those of all ages, as was the surprisingly inventive sequel, Island of Lost Dreams.  But the series was starting to run out of steam with the underwhelming Game Over, and has completely run its course with All the Time in the World.  It will be enjoyed by kids, but features far too many annoying and even gross gags to be truly engaging for anyone above a certain age.

The Blu-ray includes deleted scenes and several featurettes, as well as a 3D disc of the film.


Spy Kids: All the Time in the World DVD Review by Erin V.  

** (out of 4)

In Spy Kids: All The Time in the World, Marissa Cortez Wilson (Jessica Alba)  is a secret agent, who has entered into retirement just as her first child is born.  Married to ‘spy hunter’ Wilbur (Joel McHale), now a year later, she is happy with her quieter life, when she is called back into the field to help stop ‘The Timekeeper’ from stopping time.  Meanwhile, she is also having trouble at home as her two 8-year-old twin stepkids Rebecca (Rowan Blanchard) and Cecil (Mason Cook), think she’s hiding something and are always playing pranks on her.

When the Timekeeper’s men break into the house to retrieve a necklace that could defeat their evil plans, Rebecca and Cecil have to flee, and end up at the OSS, where they are introduced to the Spy Kids program and take it upon themselves to help save the world.  Each playing to their own strong suits, as the kids in Robert Rodriguez films always have, Rebecca uses her gift of playing pranks and Cecil finds new uses for his hearing aids, that give them each an advantage over the bad guys.

The main problems with this film is that it doesn’t have the same charm and cool factor that the original two did, especially since now, the special effects seem more fitting for a film from the early 2000’s.  The script is also not as sharply-written, oftentimes even just borrowing lines from the previous outings.  It’s been eight years since the last Spy Kids film came out, and that point is clearly illustrated when the original kids Carmen (Alexa Vega) and Juni (Daryl Sabara) make an appearance as adults (niece and nephew to Marissa).

Still, there is enough fun stuff going on to keep the movie rolling for the 6-12 market, and the kids are both fine in their roles (although no one here – in particular the adults – are on par with the original).  I can’t say there’s anything really wrong here for the younger members of the audience, it’s just that, unlike the first Spy Kids films, adults won’t find the same engagement factor with the story, nor the gadgetry and effects.


Spy Kids: All the Time in the World DVD Review By Nicole

**1/2 (out of 4)

Many people, myself included, have fond memories of Robert Rodriguez’ original Spy Kids trilogy.  Now three new kids, Rebecca (Rowan Blanchard), Cecil (Mason Cook) and their baby sister help their step mom Marissa (Jessica Alba) – Carmen and Juni’s aunt – stop The Timekeeper, a villain who is trying to stop time in order to stop the world.  Their dad (Joel McHale), host to television program Spy Hunters, has noticed time going faster.  Little does he know that his wife, kids and their robot dog (voice of Ricky Gervais) are on a secret mission to save the world.

Despite the trailers, which show some of the weakest parts of the film, Spy Kids: All the Time in the World is a fun movie for the 8-12 market.  While the adult cast is mediocre, the child actors are good.  The fantasy and time travel elements are cool, keeping with the surreal and imaginative set design that makes the Spy Kids franchise so fun to watch.  And, like all of Robert Rodriguez kids films, this one has a nice, wholesome message about family.  Spy Kids: All the Time in the World would make a nice Christmas present for your own Spy Kid.


Spy Kids: All the Time in the World DVD Review By Maureen

** (out of 4)

All four of Robert Rodriguez’ Spy Kids films have a common thread, families that have adventures (spy missions) together and really cool spy gadgets that the kids get to use to help defeat the adult bad guys.

In the fourth movie, Spy Kids: All The Time n the World, mom Marissa (Jessica Alba) opens the film fighting villains despite being very obviously pregnant.  One year later Marissa is a stay-at-home mom to a baby girl and twin step-children, Rebecca (Rowan Blanchard) and Cecil (Mason Cook).  Neither the children or husband, Wilbur (Joel Meltale) who hosts a reality TV show called Spy Hunters, have any clue Marissa is a spy.  The secret comes out when time gets wonky thanks to a villain called The Timekeeper (Jeremy Piven).  Mom sends the kids to a spy safehouse (OSS) where they join forces with more experienced young spies, Carmen (Alexa Vega) and Juni (Daryl Sabara), from the earlier Spy Kids movies.

Once the kids are in spy mode the action that this film’s 6-12 year old demographic are waiting for kicks into high gear.  The spy equipment is without question imaginatively cool, even the family dog, Argonaut (voiced by Ricky Gervais) turns out to be fun.  Some of the action and humour goes gross when dirty diapers and barf bags are used as weapons.  Otherwise, it’s all clean, though silly at times fun.  Spy Kids: All the Time in the World is the weakest in the Rodriguez franchise but most 6-12 year olds will still have fun watching it on DVD.  If they haven’t seen the original film treat them to that one instead.


Spy Kids: All the Time in the World DVD Review By Tony

** (out of 4)

Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D is the fourth Spy Kids film. The first three featured the Cortez kids, Carmen (Alexa Vega) and Juni (Daryl Sabara), helping their spy parents Gregorio and Ingrid (Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino), with other cast members including Alan Cumming, Tony Shalhoub, Danny Trejo and Steve Buscemi. The latest begins as Gregorio’s sister Marissa (Jessica Alba) takes down the goggled helium-voiced time bandit Tick Tock (Jeremy Piven) while she goes into labour. Despite having his own spy tracking reality show, her dumb husband Wilbur (Joel McHale), has no clue about her real job. Some time later when Tick Tock gets out, Marissa’s step kids Rebecca and Cecil Wilson (Rowan Blanchard and Mason Cook), aided by talking (Ricky Gervais) robot dog Argonaut, get pulled into her world, much like their cousins (now senior agents Carmen and Juni).

Known mainly for violent film noir cult classics, director Robert Rodriguez has also made some fun family action features. The original Spy Kids (2001), his last non-digital film, had a delightful sense whimsical vision, which was surpassed in Spy Kids 2 (2002) and more recently the brilliant Shorts (2009). Spy Kids 3D (2003), using retro anaglyphic (red/cyan) glasses that never really work, was a disappointing sequel mostly playing (like the better Tron) within a video game. The new generation of Spy Kids is also disappointing, lacking most of the cast that made the others interesting. Jessica Alba and the kids are ok, Ricky Gervais as expected is by turns funny and annoying, while the older cousins are not nearly as fun as we remembered. Even the Rodriguez favourite Danny Trejo only appears in a Clockstoppers ripoff freeze frame. The special effects now seem stale, with only brief flashes of the imagination that we enjoyed previously. One questionable effect not included with the disks is the 4D of the theatrical release, in the form of scratch and sniff cards with various pleasant and not so pleasent odors.

In summary, unlike Spy Kids 1 & 2, Spy Kids 4 will have an appeal limited to young kids that may justify its addition to a collection that includes the others.


Consensus: The fourth film in Robert Rodriguez’s successful Spy Kids franchise, All the Time in the World is a fun movie for kids but it won’t overly engage or entertain anyone above a certain age.  ** (Out of 4)

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