Taylor Lautner, Taylor Dooley, Cayden Boyd, Jacob Davich, Sasha Pieterse, George Lopez, David Arquette and Kristin Davis

Robert Rodriguez

Running Time:
93 mins

Out to buy on DVD 27/02/06

"You have to dream Max"


Max (Boyd) has always been a dreamer. Finding it hard to make friends, he retreats into his own dreams of adventure with his favourite characters Sharkboy (Lautner) and Lavagirl (Dooley) the planet Drool. This is a magical place where kids can have untold escapades and Sharkboy and Lavagirl live when they are not visiting Earth. When Max tells the rest of his class about his heroes, he instantly becomes the joke of the class and the school bully Linus (Davich) see this as open season on Max and sets out to totally ruin him. What none of them realise is that Sharkboy, Lavagirl and the planet Drool actually exist and Max's heroes are heading to his school because they need his help.

After enjoying huge success with the 'Spy Kids' trilogy, writer/director Robert Rodriguez hopes to start another franchise with 'The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl' but does his latest live up to his previous successes?

The 'Spy Kids' trilogy were fun, family movies from a director that was showing his diverse skills as a filmmaker. Expectations were high for his next foray into the family entertainment genre but these three films would be a very hard act to follow. 'The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D' takes you into the fantasy dream world of Max that has become real. This opens the scope of the premise up for massive potential storylines but instead we end up with a confusing and overly elaborate movie that transforms into a complete mess.

The idea of a dream been so powerful that it becomes real is an interesting premise but his also makes the plot overly complicated. Bearing in mind that this is a movie made for children to watch, the world of Drool is a very confusing place. Made up from the dreams that Max has recorded in his dream journal, the planet is a patch world of different themed areas, all relating to a dream he has had. But after of all the trouble from telling his class about planet Drool, parts of the planet are now starting to disappear in darkness as Max decides to stop dreaming. The problems start here however because theses regions are not given any explanation why they exist and his affects the structure of the movie. All they seem to be is a change of scenery so the filmmakers can utilise different 3D effects.

After re-introducing 3D in the final 'Spy Kids' movie, Robert Rodriguez and his team now getting used to the technology and starting to use it with great imagination. The film is visually very impressive, with computer graphics used to create a very imaginative world. The 3D effects works well but it would be better if they switched to the more modern techniques used in IMAX films than the old fashioned red and blue lenses.

The young cast do their best with the roles, George Lopez is good in two very important roles but the lack of the all-star cast that the 'Spy Kids' movies had makes the movie aimed more towards the younger market, meaning the older viewer who accompany them won't have anyone to really watch.

Overly complicated, confusing and lacking any real structure, 'The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D' just isn't the film everyone was hoping for. Even though this is a visual treat and the 3D effects work very well, there is not enough here for even its intended audience to enjoy. On this evidence, this won't be the start of a new trilogy.

Audio commentary from director Robert Rodriguez
'Creating Sharkboy And Lavagirl in 3-D' with Racer Max
3-D and 2-D versions on one disc
3-D glasses

Spy Kids Trilogy

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