The Adventures of SharkBoy & LavaGirl in 3-D movie review, Robert Rodriguez, Cayden Boyd, Taylor Lautner, Taylor Dooley. Review by Jeffrey M. Anderson
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A scene from 'The Adventures of Shark Boy & Lava Girl in 3-D'
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"The Adventures of SharkBoy & LavaGirl in 3-D"
94 minutes | Rated: PG
WIDE: Friday, June 10, 2005
Written & directed by Robert Rodriguez

Starring Cayden Boyd, Taylor Lautner, Taylor Dooley, David Arquette, Kristin Davis, George Lopez, Jacob Davich

  • Robert Rodriguez
  • David Arquette

  •  LINKS for this film
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    Rodriguez returns to kiddie fare in ironically flat 3-D flick 'The Adventures of SharkBoy & LavaGirl'

     by Jeffrey M. Anderson (Combustible Celluloid)

    As if to make up for the ultraviolence in his "Sin City," director Robert Rodriguez brings out his second film of the year this week -- the family-friendly adventure "The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl."

    In this film, a young boy named Max (Cayden Boyd) dreams that he meets two child superheroes, SharkBoy (Taylor Lautner) and LavaGirl (Taylor Dooley). Max is unable to convince anyone that they actually exist until they show up in his classroom and whisk him away to Planet Drool, where only he can help save the day.

    As in his "Spy Kids 3," Rodriguez presents a good portion of the action in 3-D, and audience members are asked to don or remove their glasses at crucial points. Rodriguez is nothing if not enthusiastic, and he packs his film with dozens of jokes and ideas, no matter how silly. But he's a long way off from the energy of the original "Spy Kids," and the difference lies between the definitions of "childlike" and "childish."

    His own children are old enough now to help him with his storytelling duties, and Rodriguez is so charmed by parenthood that he can no longer edit out the stuff that doesn't work. Great chunks of "SharkBoy and LavaGirl" simply embarrass with their infantile thought patterns and their anxious attempt to appeal to young viewers. Moreover, the filmmaker has developed a slightly disturbing penchant for close-ups on LavaGirl and her dazzling Denise Richards-like smile.

    Several adults also appear in the film with significantly less to do: David Arquette and Kristin Davis ("Sex and the City") as Max's parents and George Lopez in a dual role as Max's teacher and the digitally enhanced bad guy Mr. Electric.

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