Last night, I had the opportunity to attend the first public screening of “Spy Kids Armageddon,” and it was quite an experience. Held at the historic Paramount Theater in downtown Austin, Texas, with filmmaker Robert Rodriguez in attendance and props from the film on display, the evening set the stage for a memorable cinematic adventure.
“Spy Kids Armageddon” firmly plants itself in the realm of children’s entertainment. It’s important to note that this movie is not intended for a broad family audience but rather designed explicitly for kids. The Spy Kids franchise has always embraced this identity, never shying away from its mission to entertain children.
As a parent, I took my kids, who had enthusiastically rewatched the entire Spy Kids series in anticipation of this latest installment. Their reaction spoke volumes – they loved it. In the words of my daughter, “I really liked the movie with new characters and a new story. It takes unexpected twists and turns, making it a really good movie overall. I mean, it’s Spy Kids, and we really like the series.” So, from the perspective of its target audience, the film hit the mark.
From an adult’s point of view, “Spy Kids Armageddon” may not be a movie we’d choose to watch independently. It consciously leans into various clichés and tropes of the genre, which might provoke some eye-rolling from grown-ups. However, here’s the key – it’s not meant for us. This movie is tailored to be an escapist fantasy for children, and in that context, it succeeds.
#SpyKidsArmageddon is basically a remake of the First Spy Kids film but instead of a Children’s Show it deals with video games
Spy Kids meets Spy Kids 3D!
It’s good though, definitely for kids, a cool third act I smiled at & felt some nostalgia. Not Great but entertaining pic.twitter.com/2ryzu4wiIi
— Zach Pope (@popetheking) September 22, 2023
Zachary Levi, in the role of Terrence Torrez, the new parent in the movie, brings a unique charm to it. His knack for portraying an immature adult fits well with the corny humor and silliness that the film embraces. His chemistry with Gina Rodriguez, who plays Nora Tango-Torrez, adds sincerity to their performances, enhancing the overall experience.
Connor Esterson, as Tony Tango-Torrez, and Fabiola Andújar deliver solid performances, but it must be noted that they don’t have the same level of impact as the original Spy Kids cast. Billy Magnussen as “The King” adds an element of intrigue to the plot, while D. J. Cotrona and Bam Rubenstein provide additional support in their respective roles.
Plot and Connections:
“Spy Kids Armageddon” blends elements from the original film, where kids discover their parents are spies, with the third movie’s heavy focus on video games. While there are no overt connections to the previous films, it can be viewed as either taking place in the same universe or as a complete reboot with a similar premise.
Messages and Themes:
The movie sends some positive messages for kids, emphasizing following rules, kindness, and avoiding violence as the primary means of problem-solving. However, it does have a slightly awkward message about technology use, which might not align with all parents’ values.
In summary, “Spy Kids Armageddon” is a film created for children, and it successfully accomplishes its goal of entertaining them. If you’re an adult without kids, there’s little reason to watch this film. However, if you’re a fan of the Spy Kids series or have kids who enjoy it, this movie will likely provide an enjoyable cinematic experience. While it may not recapture the magic of the original films for adults, it certainly delivers a fun adventure for its target audience. As for me, it’s challenging to assign a score to a film I evaluate more as a father than a critic, but I can confidently say that my kids had a great time watching it. So, if you’re looking for a kid-friendly adventure with a positive message, “Spy Kids Armageddon” is worth a watch.