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Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams (2002), PG
Analysis Date: August 7, 2002
CAP Score: 71
CAP Influence Density: 0.52
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SPY KIDS 2: THE ISLAND OF LOST DREAMS (PG) -- ...nearly the same as the first *Spy Kids*, just lower because of the little more this and little more that.
Production: Dimension Films, Troublemaker Studios
Distribution: Dimension Films, Miramax Films
Director(s): Robert Rodriguez
Producer(s): Elizabeth Avellan, Cary Granat, Robert Rodriguez, Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein
Written by/Screenplay: Robert Rodriguez
Cinematography/Camera: Guillermo Navarro
Music: John Debney, Danny Elfman (theme music), Robert Rodriguez
Film Editing: Robert Rodriguez
Casting: Mary Vernieu
Production Design: Cary White
Art Direction: John Frick
A year after the first Spy Kids comes Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams. And it is even more full of neat gadgetry than the first Spy Kids. And it has more of other matters, too. Yes, some of it is toilet humor. Spy Kids 2 earned a 71 which is within the scoring range earned by PG movies (68 to 86 out of 100) in the CAP analysis model comparative baseline database, but there is more of everything in Spy Kids 2 than in Spy Kids. A little more sex. A little more arrogance and impudence. A little more use of drugs/alcohol. And quite a bit more violence. At this point if you have seen the first Spy Kids, if you were to compare the Findings/Scoring listing of and the CAP thermometers for the two movies you would need to go no further into this report. The CAP analysis model (the Findings/Scoring section) works perfectly as a comparison tool for parents and grandparents. The only advantages of reading the Summary/Commentary section of this analysis report is to see the application of His Word to the ignominy in the movie and to get an idea of the storyline. Even the slope of the tops of the CAP Thermometer "mercury" columns (the slope of scoring distribution) for Spy Kids 2 is nearly the same as the first Spy Kids, just lower because of the little more this and little more that.
It is the same crew plus a few new faces. Gregorio and Ingrid (Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino) Cortez are still no-longer-retired superspies. Carmen and Juni Cortez (Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara) are still junior-sized espionage operatives but now they are level 1 spies in a new branch of the OSS called, as if original, Spy Kids. Level 1 means they can take on harder cases all by themselves. But they have competition from another sibling pair, Gary and Gerti Giggles (Matt O'Leary and Emily Osment - yes, Haley Joel's sister). Gary and Gerti seem to always have the upper hand in gadgetry and technique. But by deeper inspection we find that Gary and Gerti are not all that honest. They employ underhanded deceitful tactics to steal the advantages. Also new are Ingrid's he's-not-good-enough-for-her senior superspy parents (Ricardo Montalban, Holland Taylor)
The story opens in a Six Flags theme park (the Six Flags over Texas in Antonio) run by Dinky Winks (Bill Paxton). The US President's (Christopher McDonald) daughter, Alexandra (Taylor Momsen of How the Grinch Stole Christmas) vies for her father's attention by swiping the Transmooker, a device able to render anything invisible, from her father's office. In the park with the Transmooker device, Alexandra swiped the safety on-off key from a super-swooping Juggler ride that juggles the riders then climbed the contraption, perching atop the highest point saying she will not come down until her father shows up. Carmen and Juni begin firing up the gadgetry to rescue her but Gary and Gerti arrive to get in the way - and steal the credit not for saving Alexandra but for recovering the Transmooker. Little do the sprightly spies know that the Transmooker device Alexandra had was a prototype. The real Transmooker was on the Island of Lost Dreams.
The position of director of the OSS is open, Carmen and Juni's no-longer-retired superspy father, Gregorio is the likely shoe-in. But Gary and Gerti are going to make a change in the line-up. They vie to get their father, Donnagin (Mike Judge) on the top of the candidate list. After a series of electronic shenanigans Gary and Gerti are successful. Donnagin is named the new OSS director by the buffoon President and Carmen and Juni are demoted to level 2 replaced, of course, by Gary and Gerti as the OSS's top spy kids.
Carmen and Juni, bound and determined to find the real Transmooker device, strike out on their own to the Island of Lost Dreams with some underhandedness of their own. They must regain the glory of being Level 1 spies, must out-do their competition from Gary and Gerti and must also reveal Donnagin (the guy Gregorio and Ingrid rescued in the first Spy Kids) for who he really is - a madman out to conquer the world with the Transmooker device and so their father can assume his rightful place as the new director of OSS.. All are headed for the Island of Lost Dreams, but no one can find it - it is invisible since the Transmooker device is on it. A piece of cake for the true superspies Carmen and Juni. But once the kids are discovered AWOL, spy mom and spy dad launch a rescue mission of their own - to get back their kids. But along for the ride come grandpa and grandma.
On the Island of Lost Dreams, Carmen and Juni find a wide assortment of animal life. At least they look like animals. The Island of Lost Dreams is tended by Romero (Steve Buscemi) the "Dr. Moreau" of spy land. This "Dr. Moreau" also experiments with genetic splicing but only animals with animals, not animals with humans. Romero has created slizzards and true spider monkeys plus a flying pig all sorts of critters. Romero created them in miniature. Indeed the large versions of the critters started as miniature. But due to a slip up the mini versions became large. Romero stays deep under the island in fear of his own creation and tries to find the courage to go out among his creation. .And as most films depicting someone creating life of some kind, Romero sees himself as a god of sorts and says "Do you think God stays in Heaven because He's afraid of what He's created on Earth?"
There is much more I could tell you about this delightful family adventure but I won't except that there are things in it about which you maybe should be concerned. Though there is a strong presence of family bonding and loyalty, Alexa Vega does speak a foul word. Only once but it is unmistakable. Many have argued with me that all kids talk that way in school. I (and many professional health personnel and child development experts) submit that such language in and as entertainment is a very large why kids speak that way in school, even greater than mom/dad talking that way. And copy-catting doesn't end with just foul language. Though your words say that such language is unacceptable and even if you never use them, there likely comes a time when your words become only that -- words with no authority when the "out of sight, out of mind" syndrome excuses defying your counsel, especially when "everybody else is doing it." Mom and dad's teachings have the greatest impact on a child's coping skills and behavioral choices -- but only for a while. Yes, mom and dad's teachings typically return as the rightful behavioral standards they are but not until after a while when the kids become mom/dad. It is between that non-specific age of around 13 and parenthood that mom/dad's words often lose ground as the standards in a child's life: when we as parents become too old to know everything.
Toward the end of the show thirteen year old Vega also does a music piece that emulates Brittney Spears and others in movements, specifically pelvic thrusts with feet wide apart in an outfit that might as well have been sprayed on her -- with gaps in the coverage. And with the camera angle from below her knees, above her knees. All as if it is acceptable to make such vulgar moves before others, [Prov. 30:12 - 13] thinking they are doing nothing wrong. And the more of it that is presented in and as entertainment to younger kids every year the worse it will get. It already has (see R-13). [Ps. 12:8] But then what else might we expect from Miramax, one of those involved with this film and makers of Pulp Fiction and worse? [Luke 17:2]
The strongest presence of ignominy in Spy Kids 2 is violence, threats of violence and risk-taking ... the "lesser" kind of violence and violent issues but gobs of them [Prov. 3:31-32]. Many of the "lesser" kind may be as influential as a few of the more bold kind very quickly ... and almost invisibly. Thus the red CAP Alert light on the webpage of this report. While there was only one use of the three/four letter word vocabulary noted and NO uses of God's name in vain with or without the four letter expletive and while there was no nudity or even sexual innuendo or other sexual matters other than Vega's sensualism noted, there were instances of teen arrogance against parental authority and lies with encouragement to lie as if a lie is just another sentence [Rev. 21:8, Rev. 22:14-15]. God may seem exceptionally harsh with lying, but the Truth is the truth. Maybe if someone can answer when is a lie not a lie, we can find a way excuse little white lies and convenience distortions of the truth. If a lie, for example, saves someone the accountability is on the one who makes the threat AND the one who speaks it. A little white lie could have kept Jesus off the Cross, but not once did Jesus ever lie. Nor did He ever try a little soft-shoe to dance around the truth. No lie will be held guiltless. There are additional programming issues that may cause you concern but I will leave itemization of them to the listing in the Findings/Scoring section of this analysis report.
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*******Food for Daily Thought*******
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
Offense to God (O)(2):
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|NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.|
|"There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our nearly seven years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|