A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that weapons, such as daggers and swords, are used in this movie, but the fighting is slapstick and there is no blood and no obvious injuries. A creepy scientist kidnaps a young girl and takes her to another country, where he uses computer technology to impersonate the girl's father via fake Web conferences.
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What's the story?
Amelia Muggins (Emma Roberts) is the genius daughter of an ex-spy, Mike (Chris Potter), who is raising Amelia alone after the death of her mother. Amelia wins an award for inventing an oxygen iodide chemical laser drill, which is not only environmentally friendly but can also dig deeper than any other drill. Dr. Farley (Richard Kind) kidnaps Amelia and takes her to Japan where he is constructing a large version of Amelia's drill for the purpose of reaching Earth's core to find alternate energy sources. Amelia is supposed to help Dr. Farley perfect the drill but she is unaware that her work could cause an explosion big enough to destroy Japan. Once Mike gets wind of his daughter's kidnapping, he returns to his spy roots and calls up his old partner, a chimpanzee named Minkey.
Is it any good?
SPYMATE can be both predictable and confusing at the same time. The characters and their lines are numbingly boring, and yet they sometimes veer off on tangents that make no clear sense. A group of circus performers use improbable moves to nab bad guys in a weirdly choreographed scene. The bad Dr. Farley turns from evil to whining wimp in the blink of an eye. The acting is flat and the characters one-dimensional.
On the plus side, though there are some scary themes, this is a light and goofy movie in which would-be intense moments are swept along in the silliness. There is no anguish over the kidnapping and there are no dark moments of revenge being sworn. This keeps things easy for children to digest, but it also makes things unbelievable. If a man's daughter has been kidnapped, would he really pause to have a drink with a monkey before setting out to find her? Kids may like Spymate, and though it's no cinematic feat, at least the violence isn't gratuitous.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: April 11, 2006
- On DVD or streaming: April 11, 2006
- Cast: Barry Bostwick, Chris Potter, Debra Jo Rupp, Emma Roberts, Musetta Vander, Pat Morita
- Director: Robert Vince
- Studio: Miramax
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures
- Run time: 84 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: some mild action violence
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