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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

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

By
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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Martyrdom of John the Baptist: The drunken oath of a king with a shallow sense of honor, a seductive dance and the hateful heart of a queen combined to bring about the martyrdom of John the Baptist. The greatest of prophets suffered the fate of so many Old Testament prophets before him: rejection and martyrdom. The “voice crying in the desert” did not hesitate to accuse the guilty, did not hesitate to speak the truth. But why? What possesses a man that he would give up his very life? 
<p>This great religious reformer was sent by God to prepare the people for the Messiah. His vocation was one of selfless giving. The only power that he claimed was the Spirit of Yahweh. “I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11). Scripture tells us that many people followed John looking to him for hope, perhaps in anticipation of some great messianic power. John never allowed himself the false honor of receiving these people for his own glory. He knew his calling was one of preparation. When the time came, he led his disciples to Jesus: “The next day John was there again with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God.’ The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus” (John 1:35-37). It is John the Baptist who has pointed the way to Christ. John’s life and death were a giving over of self for God and other people. His simple style of life was one of complete detachment from earthly possessions. His heart was centered on God and the call that he heard from the Spirit of God speaking to his heart. Confident of God’s grace, he had the courage to speak words of condemnation or repentance, of salvation.</p> American Catholic Blog Just as my children become members of my family when I bring them into the world, so too our baptism incorporates us into the family of the Church. This supernatural membership prevents us from being orphans who have to fend for themselves in the spiritual wilderness.

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