Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over Movie Poster Image
Kids will love it, but adults may find it flat.
  • PG
  • 2003
  • 85 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 22 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

 

Introduces the concept of kids' vulnerability to the allure of technology. The villain hopes to control the world by keeping its youth captive to the wizardry of video gaming.  At the same time, almost the entire film takes place in a slick virtual world, and what could be more alluring than that? The movie also makes a case for the positive results of teamwork, loyalty to family, forgiveness, and charity, and finally, asserts that revenge doesn’t solve problems.

 

Positive Role Models & Representations

 

Assorted members of one Latino family are the heroes here. The Cortez grandfather is in a wheelchair (in the real world), and his disability is discovered to have both positive and negative consequences.

 

Violence & Scariness

Nonstop cartoon action from beginning to end. All of the battles pit the Cortez kids and their allies against the evil Toy Maker who is trying to trap them and hold them forever captive to "the game." The heroes and their friends face menacing robots, threatening animated toys, flying obstacles (including fiery lava rocks), mutiny within the ranks of the kids who are supposed to be their friends, and the destructive campaign of a power-hungry toymaker who is bent on evil.

Sexy Stuff
Language

Some name calling: "freak," "wimp."

Consumerism

The third film in the Spy Kids franchise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that unlike the inventive and funny Spy Kids and Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams, Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over plays almost entirely inside a video game. Other than Juni and friends trying to shut down the game and save the world, there's very little story. Instead, it's a series of attacks, disappearances, wins, and losses that carry the heroes from one game level to the next. High-tech danger comes in the form of giant robots, molten lava rocks, troops of evil toys, explosions, light saber attacks, and crashes, some of which may be scary for the youngest kids. Messages about teamwork and family are consistent with the first two films, but are spoken more often than played. Latino characters are once again in the forefront, and the Cortez kids' wheelchair-using grandfather has an important role. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written by413804 February 4, 2012

Disappointing

Crappy Conclusion to the first two. The directors just wanted to try out 3D effects. Made my head hurt as a first grader.
Adult Written bydpwerner April 9, 2008
The 3-D graphics were interesting. There was little plot. Dialogue was weak. The child-spies used mild profanity, were disrespectful of each other and adults an... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byluvanger January 9, 2010

Appropriate for kids, but just plain awful.

This movie contains some violence and brief mild profanity, but contains entirely positive messages about forgiveness and friendship. That said, it's not a... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bydmack April 9, 2008

What's the story?

In SPY KIDS 3-D: GAME OVER, an evil man called the Toymaker (Sylvester Stallone) has created a computer game called "Game Over," and Carmen Cortez (Alexa Vega) somehow gets lost inside the game. If her brother Juni (Daryl Sabara) cannot shut down the game before it goes on the market, the game will enable the Toymaker to take over the world or worse. In the game, Juni meets up with beta testers and battles Demetra (Courtney Jines) in gladiator-style combat. He develops a crush in both senses of the word as he slams her avatar-robot around in between gazing longingly at the way that fetching lock of hair keeps falling in front of her determined but sparkling eyes.

Is it any good?

The special effects may be in 3-D, but the story is flat, and there is very little of the quirky humor of the first two movies. This one is just nonstop loud, hurtling, special effects, most of it is like one long computer game, with one set of pixels fighting another. Kids probably won't mind, though parents have plenty of better options.

The first two Spy Kids movies combined brilliantly imaginative visual effects, thrilling (but not too scary) action, silly fun, and a lot of heart. With this last in the series, writer-director-editor-producer-composer Robert Rodriguez is either so enthralled or so overwhelmed by the 3-D technology that he forsakes the essentials of plot and character. We also miss the characters of the first two. Many of them appear only in brief cameos that are merely distracting. Stallone plays four parts -- all of them badly.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the excitement around the new game release. Kids: How do you find out about new games coming out? What tools do companies use to get you excited about a new product?

  • How is disability portrayed in Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over

  • What are discussions about leadership take place in the movie? Is it important for there always to be a leader? What are some of the traits of a good leader?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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