We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
'Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams" uses the same formula as the wonderful 2001 original: bright colors, weird gimmicks, fanciful special effects, goofy villains, sassy dialogue and lots of moxie. The second installment is a galloping adventure pitting Carmen and Juni Cortez (Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara), the two original spy kids, against the snot-nosed Gary and Gerti Giggles (Matthew O'Leary and Emily Osment), whose dad has staged a sneaky takeover of the federal spy agency.
Soon they're on an invisible island ruled by Romero (Steve Buscemi), a not-quite-mad scientist with a gizmo that could control, or destroy, the world.
Director Robert Rodriguez wrote, directed, edited and even did some of the digital photography. He seems to have chosen his color palette from those brightly painted little Mexican sculptures you see in gift shops, the ones that have so much energy they make you smile.
The whole film has a lively Mexican-American tilt, from the Hispanic backgrounds of the young actors to the surprise appearance of none other than Ricardo Montalban, as Grandpa, in a wheelchair with helicopter capabilities.