The Bottom Line: If you are under 12 you may like it if not rent the first one again.
Not since the virtual world of Tron has a movie setting been so dominantly set in a virtual world, as is the case with Spy Kids 3-D. The film is the third in the popular series from Robert Rodriquez and it continues the exploits of Spy Kids Juni (Daryl Sabara) and his sister Carmen (Alex Vega).
The film opens shortly after the events of the previous film and follows Juni in his new life after leaving the Spy Kids organization. Juni earns spending money doing work as a private eye and is saving to purchase a new video game that is set to go on sale that evening. Against his will, Juni is summoned back to the Spy Kids unit to save his sister who has gone missing while testing a beta version of the game. It seems that the game is a dangerous device that traps kids in a virtual world leaving their bodies as little more than drones as their conscience is trapped in the game. It seems that the evil Toymaker (Sylvester Stallone), has his own agenda and Juni is tasked with saving his sister and asked to avoid interfering with the game or the Toymaker who also lives in the virtual game community.
Once Juni enters the game world. The majority of the film is in 3-D and has some nice sequences such as a robot arena and a race sequence that gives nods to those in Tron and Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. While visually interesting, many of the sequence in the virtual world will likely interest younger viewers only as the film is clearly designed for a youth audience. As such, the film is a difficult one to review. On one hand, I can note the very basic plot, bad acting, lack of character development, and an overabundance of FX. I would also note that like the previous two films in the series, each chapter has upped the FX portion at the cost of the severe paring down of the story when compared to the previous version.
Younger viewers are not likely to care about the weak plot and will be taken in by the 3-D eye candy even though series regulars Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino are in the film only briefly. The film does have many cameos from the previous two films and Stallone gives a fun performance as the Toymaker, showing that he is more than capable of doing quality work in light comedy roles.
The movie is mostly a 90-minute video game and should delight younger viewers despite being very slight when compared to the other films in the series. Older viewers are likely to find numerous faults with the film to the point that it will likely detract them from enjoying the film.