Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez’s latest adventure, starring the Cortez clan of secret agents, plunks junior superspies Juni and Carmen inside the virtual universe of a 3-D video game designed to outsmart them. Their nemesis, the evil Toymaker, aims to take over the hearts and minds of the youth of the world through his diabolical video games – the only thing blocking his path to world domination is the Cortez family.
The innovative writer/director Rodriguez is credited with taking stereoscopic 3-D technology to a new level by incorporating up-to-the-minute computer effects and his own specially designed high-definition 3-D monitors and camera systems. Moreover, Rodriguez reportedly conceived the plot and action sequences of the film specifically with 3-D in mind to make the most of this “new” retro-technology, while putting a final spin on his Spy Kids trilogy.
Working with 3-D wasn’t as much of a challenge as you might expect, according to Alexa Vega, the personable young actress who plays Carmen Cortez in all three of the Spy Kids movies.
“It was really easy,” Vega says. “Or, I should say, Robert made it really easy, because he had it all figured out. Plus [the actors] knew what we were doing now as well.”
But Vega does reveal that much of the film was shot in front of a “green screen,” with the special effects added in later, and that actors present in the same scene didn’t necessarily shoot it at the same time!
Those familiar with the first two Spy Kids films will recognize most of the original two casts in this latest film: Antonio Banderas as the dashing, but quite human, father spy, Gregorio, and Carla Gugino as his equally daring wife and partner, Ingrid, along with guest stars Cheech Marin, Ricardo Montalban, Alan Cumming, Bill Paxton and Steve Buscemi. The most surprising addition to the cast, however, is Sylvester Stallone, who plays a bad guy for once, as the evil Toymaker.
So how does Vega think the 3-D effects worked out? “Very well,” she says. “Like my mom said, this time the parents get to get sick and the kids get to have fun!”
Like its two predecessors Spy Kids 3-D is rated PG.