March 23, 2001

"SPY KIDS"

A film by Robert Rodriguez

Top international super-spies Gregorio and Ingrid Cortez, thought to have retired in order to raise a family, have resurfaced - and been nabbed by the enemy. Seven top OSS spies are also missing. Techno-wizard Fegan Floop is highly suspected of being involved. Unprecedented transmogrification inventions may be in use by Floop.



Writer, director, producer, Robert Rodriquez on the set with his son, Rocket.

The fate of the Cortezes - and perhaps the world - appears to rest on the courage and actions of two people: Carmen and Juni Cortez, trained primarily by elementary school and video games. Gadgets at their disposal include jet packs, ultralight aircraft, Super Guppy submarine pods, electroshock bubblegum and most importantly, their inventive young minds and love of family.

We can only hope that big heroes come in small packages.

The action-packed, high-energy, invention-filled, special-effects thriller is no longer just for adults. With "Spy Kids", director Robert Rodriguez introduces a new kind of cinematic experience: a family espionage adventure, a James Bond for kids. Filled with gadgetry, virtual reality and unexpected discoveries of bravery, "Spy Kids" is the story of a brother and sister who take on two perilous missions that defy the odds: first, to save the world from an assortment of menacing characters and creations; and second (and even more perilous!), to keep their family truly together.

The script for "Spy Kids"", written by Robert Rodriguez, immediately drew readers back into the era when grand adventures could be shared by the whole family.

"Spy Kids" could only have come from the imagination of a man who is not only used to making high-octane movies but also has another unique qualification for this mission - being a parent. Robert Rodriguez, best known for such stylish action films as "El Mariachi," "Desperado," "From Dusk Til Dawn" and "The Faculty," wanted to create for the first time a fun, adventurous film that he could actually take his own three kids to see.

In fact, Rodriguez, who has always loved making up fairy tales and inventing wild gizmos, has dreamed of making a high-flying family adventure film for years. Early in his career he made an award-winning short film entitled "Bedhead" that starred his four youngest siblings in the comedic story of a psychic little girl - and since then he has longed to return to family filmmaking with a much bigger bang. With "Spy Kids", Rodriguez is able to take the conventions and morals of a classic family film and hurtle it into the future with cutting-edge special-effects and unbridled invention.

From the start, Rodriguez envisioned a different kind of family movie - one full of the eye-popping inventions, heart-pounding suspense and smart humor contemporary audiences of all ages love but with that extra splash of magic and meaning that speaks directly to kids. That's why he decided to tell a story about a brother and sister whose seemingly ordinary lives go kerflooey when they discover their parents are retired international spies.

With this in mind, Rodriguez let his imagination fly, forging an incredible, fantasy spy world that exists just beneath the everyday, ordinary existence of young Carmen and Juni Cortez - a world filled not just with intrigue but with spy watches, jet packs, pre-programmed submarines, electroshock bubblegum, mutated spies, dastardly villains, castles filled with illusions, mazes and escape hatches and even a virtual reality room where fantasies come to life. He filled notebook after notebook with sketches of his clever gadgets.

"The hard part was coming up with cool gadgets that don't already exist," he admits. "Even as I was writing the first drafts, gadgets that had been fiction five minutes before were suddenly everywhere. For me, the most fun was designing the really elusive gadgets like the high-powered submarine pod that's shaped like a goldfish yet has everything you need in it to have a tiny floating habitat. I also liked the jetpacks because when I was a kid, people were convinced we'd be flying around in jetpacks by the year 2001, and so far it hasn't happened. Now here's a new version that will inspire another generation to dream about the day we all can fly about everywhere. I gave this jetpack artificial intelligence and a friendlier name - the `Buddy Pack,' because your buddy always helps you get out of a tight spot."

But Rodriguez also wanted to bring something else to "Spy Kids" - the power of a fairy-tale to make a difference in kid's lives. For as Carmen and Juni Cortez enter this world of non-stop surprises they have to do more than just try to get their parents back - they have to face their fears, use their minds and figure out just how important their family is to them.

Dimension Films Presents "Spy Kids" written and directed by Robert Rodriguez. The producer is Elizabeth Avellan and the film stars Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Allen Cumming, Cheech Marin, Tony Shalhoub, Danny Trejo, Robert Patrick, Teri Hatcher - and Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara as kids-turned-top-secret agents Carmen and Juni Cortez.

RATED PG - For action sequences

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