Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +1

Content: -2 1/2

Combining three-dimensional images with digital technology, this third Spy Kids movie hopes to lure youngsters into the world of virtual-reality video games. Young Juni Cortez (Daryl Sabara) has given up spying and is enjoying video games like a normal boy. When Juni learns his sister Carmen (Alexa Vega) is trapped in a virtual-reality game designed by the evil Toymaker (Sylvester Stallone), he realizes he must rescue her. Juni calls on his grandfather (Ricardo Montalban) for help in mastering the game from Levels 1 to 5, where his sister lies helpless. The player must win various competitions to move to the next level or lose, making it game over. Entering the game, the two face impossible odds as computer-generated goons block every move. The Toymaker uses mind-control gimmicks to confuse and defeat the good guys and takes his first step toward gaining control of the world. Spy Kids 3-D is one-dimensional in plot, action and character development.

The grandfather, confined to a wheelchair in reality, becomes a giant, invincible robot upon entering the game. Young viewers with insecurities may infer that they can gain power by spending hours playing video games, instead of learning to cope with their problems. The supposedly close Cortez family is scattered: the parents are across the globe on a spy assignment, Carmen is isolated from reality, and Juni is on his own. To attempt to make this movie family-friendly, the final scene features the entire Cortez family entering the fantasy, shouting We are family. By glamorizing virtual-reality video games, Spy Kids 3-D implies that man-made technology can replace God. The action scenes will probably not frighten game fans who are accustomed to computer-animated killings. Although free of sexual content and foul language, this films insidious use of mind control and fantasy violence, disguised as wholesome entertainment, earns it a negative Preview rating.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Miramax Films

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: none.

Obscene Language: none.

Profanity: none.

Violence: many times moderate (surfing through river of hot lava, high-speed chases, hand-to-hand fighting, falls from great heights, computer-generated figures interacting with game players drawn into action, mind-control gimmicks endangering lives).

Sex: none.

Nudity: none.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: none.

Drugs: none.

Other: underlying message that computer technology can control good and evil, blurring of reality and fantasy.

Running Time: 85 minutes.
Intended Audience: children 8 to 14.

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