Aug. 13, 2002 Been wondering what Ricardo Montalban is up to these days? Well, hang on — the old Latin lover is now a retired spy playing third wheel, a grandpa no less, to the pint-sized stars of "Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams."
Ah, sweet mysteries of Hollywood. On top of that, Steve Buscemi, the consummate villain of such epics as "Fargo" and "Reservoir Dogs," plays a kindly old mad scientist, which seems like a contradiction in terms, let alone film roles.
Oh, yes, the movie. Well, this is the sequel to the first "Spy Kids" — guess the title gives that away — again starring Alexa Vega as Carmen and Daryl Sabara as Juni, the Cortez kids. The junior spies have traveled to a mysterious island to track down some gadget set to destroy the world, bringing parents Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino along for the ride.
There are lots of problems, naturally. For one, the island is crawling with a slew of mutant monsters that Buscemi has accidentally created. (Serves Hollywood right for casting Buscemi in this absurd role.) So, the kids have to battle them, along with winged monsters and an assortment of distasteful venom.
And, wouldn't you know it? The whole thing is a trap in which the young heroes have unwittingly involved their whole family. Good heavens, what bad luck.
"Spy Kids 2" is an hour and a half long and rated PG for "monster violence" (aren't monsters supposed to be violent?) and crude humor.
It opens at Market Square East on Thursday.
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