Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World 4D
By Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.
In director/writer Robert Rodriguez’ fourth installment of
the “Spy Kids” franchise we have a new spy family headed by step-mom Marissa
(Jessica Alba) and Wilbur (Joel McHale). His two kids are twins Rebecca and
Cecil ( for the entire cast see the Internet Movie Database http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1517489/).
Marissa is a real-life sky who is pregnant with her first
child. Her step-daughter, Rebecca does
not like her but Cecil does. Wilbur works in television and is trying to create
a spy show.
Marissa works up until giving birth. After two years her
boss at the OSS (Organization for Super Spies) needs her to come back because
someone or thing is making time speed up and they must stop it.
It all gets very complicated. Time is of the utmost importance! Carmen and
Junie are Marissa’s niece and nephew, but the siblings have not gotten along
for some time. Carmen takes Rebecca and Cecil under her wing at the OSS, but
the kids manage to make a significant contribution to identifying and bringing
down the bad guy with the help of Junie, and of course, mom and dad. It’s a
The film isn’t about bringing down a bad guy, however. It’s
about why the man wants to control time, his regrets over the past, and his
love for his father.
But what does “4D”, or four dimension, mean? You might
recall the 2003 film “Rugrats Go Wild” that was also “4D”. The dimension of
smell is added to 3D (so you still need the glasses) through “scratch and
sniff” cards. At the salient moment in the movie, a number flashes indicating
its time to scratch and sniff that spot on the card. I went to a 2D version of
the movie, but the 4D was explained at the beginning, and we saw the numbers
appear. I think that flatulence only occurs once out of eight opportunities to share
cinematic smell space.
“Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World” is a
sturdy family film but it felt like the special effects outweighed the plot and
certainly the dialogue. The good news is it is better than the comic books into
film we have been getting, with more discernment about the situation that the
simplistic good vs. evil.
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