Sight and Sound - 09/01/2005
"The technology is effective in adding a dreamy sensation to shooshing rollercoasters....Rodriguez has fabricated a vividly imagined and wittily realised dreamscape."
Robert Rodriguez (SPY KIDS, DESPERADO) directed this hyperkinetic kids' film based on a script by his pre-teen son, Racer. The plot concerns a daydreaming youngster named Max (Cayden Boyd) whose fantasy stories about the titular superheroes--the molten-hot Lava Girl (Taylor Dooley), and a boy raised by sharks appropriately named Shark Boy (Taylor Lautner)--inspire the ridicule of everyone from the local bullies to his own mom (Kristin Davis). Even Max's fourth grade teacher (George Lopez) wants him to come down to earth, but then a tornado brings Shark Boy and Lava Girl into the school to whisk Max off to the planet Drool, where only his dreaming skills can save the day. A real kid's active imagination is obviously at work here, because the giddy action flies in all directions with a cheerful disregard for conventions of logic or sanity, and Rodriguez is obviously the right sort of adult to bring such a film to life (he must be a great dad). The message about the importance of not just believing in your dreams but working to achieve them should prove relevant for an audience who may be spending a bit too much time in front of the TV or computer game. The cool 3-D effects are something else, with goo and fists and lunging Shark Boy regularly leaping off of the screen. But even without the 3-D amplification, viewers will be dazzled by the film's wild, day-glo color scheme.
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