These Gen Z school-age superheroes don’t buck the downward trajectory of director Robert Rodriguez’s recent work for kids
For his children’s films, Robert Rodriguez long ago established his own style in strip-cartoon type graphics, garish colour schemes and affordable digital effects – notably with the genuinely likable and now almost 20-year-old gem, Spy Kids, which starred Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino. But since then, his line in family movies has felt visually wearing, hectoring and pretty flat, without much in the way of a funny script. This new one pops thinly like day-old bubblegum, with the same lack of anything satisfying or nutritious.
It is a sequel to his entirely disposable 2005 kids’ film The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D, which felt like he had knocked it out in a month in his edit suite. This follow-up isn’t quite as insufferable, but it has the same tendency to confuse hyperactivity with energy, and that reference to David Bowie in the title is not earned, unless we’re talking about turning into a type of chocolate assortment.