Ten years after the first film, the successful Spy Kids franchise continues, this time with Jessica Alba in the lead as the younger sister of the original spy dad. The film is presented in 4D – that's 3D plus Aromascope, otherwise known as scratch and sniff – but don't get too excited, there are enough improbable gadgets on the screen without having to faff around with a pair of 3D glasses while rubbing on a piece of card which smells of nothing but bubble gum. With so many vomit, fart and poop jokes, the olfactory dimension could have been so much more interesting.
Marissa Cortaz-Wilson (Alba) is a young mum juggling a baby, two mischievous step children and a hapless husband unaware of what his 'interior designer' wife really does for a living. Aided and abetted by Carmen (Alexa Vega) and Juni (Daryl Sabara), the now grown up spy kids of the first movies, she sets out to prevent the villainous Timekeeper (Piven) from stopping time.
Despite the many references to more adult issues such as dealing with blended families and managing work/life balance, this latest offering doesn't have the wit and broad appeal of the first, and best, Spy Kids film. This is a bit plodding and rather heavy on sentiment; even the bad guy has family values. Argonaut, the wise cracking robot dog, voiced by Ricky Gervais, helps to stop things from descending into pure schmaltz, but there are plenty of sugary sweet moments intended to ram the message home, namely that time spent with your family is precious. Still, it's entertaining enough and there are plenty of slime bombs of one kind or another to keep the target audience happy.
Is Spy Kids: All The Time In The World suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Timekeeper's faceless minions are slightly sinister. Very young children might be spooked.