the adventures of Shark Boy & Lava Girl in 3-D (Robert Rodriguez). 90 minutes. Opens Friday (June 10). For venues and times, see Movies, page 115. Rating: NN Rating: NN
Director Robert Rodriguez is a lock for father of the year.
Whereas most parents only brag about how brilliant their kid is, Rodriguez has put his money where his mouth is, making his adored son Racer Rodriguez's imaginative stories into a full-length 3-D movie. The bad news? The kid isn't quite as smart as Dad thinks he is.
Rodriguez proved with Spy Kids that an adult who can think like a kid can make great children's movies. But an eight-year-old kid who believes he can think like an adult gives us the bizarro and the unrealistic: a superhero who can save parents from divorce, and humour that seems stolen from Sinbad's reject pile.
In this film, insecure dreamer Max ( Cayden Boyd ) creates fictitious characters Shark Boy and Lava Girl to help him escape the reality of his non-existent social life and his parents' (slumming Kristin Davis and David Arquette ) constant fighting.
Because "some dreams are so powerful they become real" (one of the many trite sayings singsongily repeated throughout this cheese-fest), Shark Boy and Lava Girl come to Earth in need of Max's help to save their planet.
All the superhero powers in the world can't save this clunky, silly and dull film full of uninspired 3-D effects. Let's hope Racer Rodriguez is too young to read the trades.