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Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D

Joseph McAleer
Source: Catholic News Service

Rowan Blanchard stars in a scene from the movie "Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D."
Had your fill of 3-D movies? Take a whiff of "4D," otherwise known as "Aroma-Scope," now, um, airing in "Spy Kids: All the Time in the World" (Dimension). This third sequel to 2001's "Spy Kids" offers viewers the chance, via a scratch-and-sniff card, to "smell" the action as they watch (in 3-D) our young heroes—and their parents—fight to save the world.

While the gimmick is reminiscent of "Smell-O-Vision" in the 1960s and John Waters' notorious use of "Odorama" in 1982's "Polyester," the scents this time are much more innocent, ranging from bacon, blue cheese, and candy to—inevitably—burps and other gaseous effusions (both of which, however, turn out to smell like candy as well).

Once the country's top agent for the OSS (Organization of Super Spies), Marissa Wilson (Jessica Alba) is now retired, her alter ego a secret to her family. Her husband, Wilbur (Joel McHale), is a hapless TV reporter who tracks down—whom else?—spies, but without much success. Marissa's precocious stepkids, Rebecca (Rowan Blanchard) and Cecil (Mason Cook), don't give her the time of day.

Marissa also has a new baby girl to contend with, one who's especially challenged when it comes to bodily functions (cue the seemingly requisite toilet humor).

Marissa is called back into service when the wicked Timekeeper (Jeremy Piven) threatens to unleash Project Armageddon, the "ultimate weapon" that takes away all the time in the world. While he's undeniably a villain, Timekeeper's message nonetheless hits home: "You're all guilty of wasting time on mindless pursuits instead of spending time with each other and the things that really matter," he declares.

Her true identity revealed, the stepmom is suddenly very cool to the younger generation, and Rebecca and Cecil also join the struggle as Spy Kids, members of the "elite juvenile division" of the OSS. They're assisted by Argonaut (voice of Ricky Gervais), a talking robot dog whose ability to expel bombs from you-know-where comes in handy.

As they learn to work together as a family to rescue humanity, the Wilsons discover that time is a precious commodity that must be used wisely.

"Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D" is written and directed, with a winning sense of fun, by series creator Robert Rodriguez.

The film contains light comic-book action and mildly rude humor. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II—adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG—parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

Jospeh McAleer is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service.

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Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions: Andrew Dung-Lac was one of 117 people martyred in Vietnam between 1820 and 1862. Members of this group were beatified on four different occasions between 1900 and 1951. All were canonized by St. John Paul II. 
<p>Christianity came to Vietnam (then three separate kingdoms) through the Portuguese. Jesuits opened the first permanent mission at Da Nang in 1615. They ministered to Japanese Catholics who had been driven from Japan. </p><p>The king of one of the kingdoms banned all foreign missionaries and tried to make all Vietnamese deny their faith by trampling on a crucifix. Like the priest-holes in Ireland during English persecution, many hiding places were offered in homes of the faithful. </p><p>Severe persecutions were again launched three times in the 19th century. During the six decades after 1820, between 100,000 and 300,000 Catholics were killed or subjected to great hardship. Foreign missionaries martyred in the first wave included priests of the Paris Mission Society, and Spanish Dominican priests and tertiaries. </p><p>Persecution broke out again in 1847 when the emperor suspected foreign missionaries and Vietnamese Christians of sympathizing with a rebellion led by of one of his sons. </p><p>The last of the martyrs were 17 laypersons, one of them a 9-year-old, executed in 1862. That year a treaty with France guaranteed religious freedom to Catholics, but it did not stop all persecution. </p><p>By 1954 there were over a million and a half Catholics—about seven percent of the population—in the north. Buddhists represented about 60 percent. Persistent persecution forced some 670,000 Catholics to abandon lands, homes and possessions and flee to the south. In 1964, there were still 833,000 Catholics in the north, but many were in prison. In the south, Catholics were enjoying the first decade of religious freedom in centuries, their numbers swelled by refugees. </p><p>During the Vietnamese war, Catholics again suffered in the north, and again moved to the south in great numbers. Now the whole country is under Communist rule.</p> American Catholic Blog I discovered that my sins had created a spiritual racket that drowned out the gentle whispers of God to my soul; God had never actually abandoned me, but I needed repentance and sacramental grace to reawaken all that was good and beautiful in me.

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