Spy Kids ★★★ 2001 (PG)
Rare live-action kid's movie that doesn't talk down to its target audience has pre-teens Carmen (Vega)and Juni Cortez (Sabara) bemoaning their boring life and dealing with troublesome bullies until their parents disappear. It seems that Mom (Gugino) and Dad (Banderas) are retired superspies who get kidnapped while on one last mission. It's up to the kids, along with perennial sidekick Marin, to save their folks (and the world) from evil kid-show host Fegan Floop (Cumming, bidding for the title of world's busiest screen villian) and Minion (Shalhoub). Director/writer/editor/composer Rodriquez makes a concerted effort to provide family entertainment with zero objectionable material but plenty of gee-whiz gadgetry, fanciful set design, and exciting action. He said he wanted to make a movie that he'd be proud to show his children and his parents. He has succeeded. 88m/C VHS, DVD . US Alexa Vega, Daryl Sabara, Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Alan Cumming, Tony Shalhoub, Teri Hatcher, Richard “Cheech” Marin, Robert Patrick, Danny Trejo, George Clooney; D: Robert Rodriguez; W: Robert Rodriguez; C: Guillermo Navarro; M: Robert Rodriguez, Danny Elfman, John Debney.