Predictably, the hit movie Spy Kids spawned a sequel, Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams (2002), both directed by Robert Rodriguez.  It’s another techno-fantasy for the entire family, featuring Carmen (Alexa Vega) and Juni (Daryl Sabara), spy kids employed by the OSS, which, as you know, eventually became the CIA.

Er, wait a minute—the OSS in Spy Kids 2 is fictional; it isn’t the CIA.  Okay, but there is still a mission here, now that a highly destructive device has been stolen and is located on a now oddball island.  A scientist there (Steve Buscemi) is given to both miniaturizing animals and creating hybrid animals which, however droll, grow to deluxe size.  (Not good.)  For good measure, Carmen and Juni confront rivals in fellow spy kids Gary and Gerti Giggles, capable of outdoing our child heroes but also facing a disadvantage.  They get their faces soiled with camel manure and their father (Mike Judge) turns out to be an appalling traitor and would-be murderer.  When he protests over how things are going, his daughter Gerti, disgusted with him, says, “Don’t even start, Dad!”

I’m glad Rodriguez started the Spy Kids trilogy.  In addition to having an entertaining cast, SK2 is comically rich and visually endearing.  And, thankfully, it has nothing to say.