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Spy Kids: All the Time
in the World in 4D

SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD IN 4D Something smells funny... but it's not the fourth installment in Robert Rodriguez's franchise.

SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD IN 4D Something smells funny... but it's not the fourth installment in Robert Rodriguez's franchise. (Rico Torres)

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Spy Kids: All the Time in the World

Genre: Comedy, Action/Adventure; Starring: Jessica Alba, Joel McHale, Jeremy Piven; Director: Robert Rodriguez; Author: Robert Rodriguez; Release Date Wide: 08/19/2011; MPAA Rating: PG; Distributor: Dimension Films

The fourth installment of Robert Rodriguez’s franchise that keeps adding dimensions even as it loses charm would have been better titled Spy Kids: All the Time Puns in the World. I’m not sure how much the target audience of youngsters appreciates Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D’s never-ending stream of ”I’m gonna clean your clock” and ”Don’t waste my time” wordplay, but the filmmaker is clearly hoping the answer is a whole lot. Beyond that, the film — featuring a whole new set of crime-fighting progeny who discover that their stepmother (Jessica Alba) lives a secret life of gadgetry and car chases — is mainly a collection of fart jokes, backgrounds green-screened into abstraction, and the same ”family first” lessons espoused by the first three films. The hokiest element of all, Rodriguez’s resurrection of the scratch-and-sniff companion card last used years ago in a slightly more ironic fashion by John Waters, could have been a fun addition if all the ostensible scents (bacon, blue cheese, dog flatulence) didn’t just smell like a blueberry Yankee Candle. C-

Originally posted August 21 2011 — 12:00 AM EDT

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