Directed by Robert Rodriquez
Starring Rowan Blanchard, Mason Cook, Jessica Alba, Jeremy Piven, Joel Mchale
All good things must come to an end, except in Hollywood, or in this case, Austin. So even though Carmen and Juni, the original Spy Kids, are a mite too mature to be called kids anymore Robert Rodriquez is power shifting the franchise into its fourth installment. To keep from having to change the name of the series Rodriquez has recruited a couple of pint size protagonists to accept the baton from Carmen and Juni to continue the fight against evil.
All The Time In The World starts off in the tried and true spy movie fashion, with an exciting action sequence. Marissa, Jessica Alba, is due, as in it’s been nine months and this baby is due, but she isn’t going to let that get in the way of her last assignment before she hangs up her grapple gun for a diaper bag and becomes a full time mother to baby on the way and to her two step children, Rebecca and Cecil, played by Rowan Blanchard and Mason Cook. What is supposed to be a routine surveillance gig turns into something else when Tick-Tock, a voice altered Jeremy Piven, makes a break for it just as Marissa starts to have contractions. Marissa is not going to let a little thing like incipient childbirth keep her from making this final collar so she zip lines to a waiting convertible and gives chase. As Marissa roars after Tick-Tock through town Rodriquez immediately lets you know that Spy Kids 4 is going to be full of the same cartoony action as it’s predecessors. The car’s suspensions telescope in and out in full on Inspector Gadget mode guiding the cars around obstacles and ensuring that the Mom to be has a gentle landing when her car leaps over a dip in the road. Of course Marissa takes down the bad guy, gives her notice and manages to make it to the hospital in time.
Fast forward a year and Marissa is settling into domestic life even if her relationship with step daughter Rebecca is a bit on the rocky side. Wilbur, played by Joel McHale, is having problems of his own. His idea for a spy hunting reality show was good enough for a local station to assign him a cameraman and a Ford Transit with a bigger than life “Wilbur Wilson – Spy Hunter” plastic wrap. The problem is it has been a year and he has not nabbed a single spy. Meanwhile OSS headquarters, Marissa’s former employer, is on full alert because the Timekeeper, a previously unknown villain, has hijacked and activated the Armageddon Device. The Armageddon Device is speeding up time, hours pass like minutes, weeks like days, a concept that any adults in the audience will probably identify with a lot easier than the kids. At the rate time is flying by the world will soon run out of time. The only way to stop the Armageddon Device is with a particular sapphire. Unfortunately the sapphire in question is set in a pendant that Marissa has just given to Rebecca as a peace offering. Of course step daughter step mother relations turn quite cool when Marissa has to ask for it back. Marissa has to return the sapphire to OSS headquarters but she isn’t going to leave Rebecca and Cecil by themselves with the Timekeeper on the loose. Turns out the family pooch is a left over bit of kit from her OSS days, Argonaut is actually an advanced robot dog voiced by Ricky Gervais quite capable of looking after Rebecca and Cecil. Of course this wouldn’t be much of a movie if Rebecca and Cecil spent it safely at home with Argonaut so of course the baddies figure out where they are. With the help of Argonaut and some more left over gadgets Rebecca and Cecil manage to escape and make their own way to OSS Headquarters where they are introduced to Carmen, played once more by Alexa Vega, who explains to Rebecca and Cecil about the now defunct Spy Kids program.
Of course like any spy movie there are reversals, betrayals and plot holes you can drive a Ford Transit through. Matter of fact there are whole tracts of the story that not only don’t hold water but will make your head hurt if you think about them too much, of course time tends to do that to good and bad stories. I’m not going to give the film a pass just because it’s a movie for kids, but the movie isn’t about the Armageddon Device and it’s side effects, it’s about whether or not Rebecca and Cecil can learn to work together without competing over everything. Can Rebecca learn to accept Marissa, can Wilbur figure out that family is more important than his career?, and riding above and below that is the central theme of time and it’s value.
The 1080p Blu Ray video is crisp and detailed. The color palette is neutral with natural skin tones. I never noticed any aliasing or moire or any other sorts of digital artifacts.
The audio is presented in 5.1 DTSHD-MA surround sound with English and Spanish subtitles. The mix is excellent with a subtle use of surround sound. I never noticed any distortion or other problems with the sound.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
This four disc set is presented in a standard Blu Ray case with a cardboard slipcase. Like I said there are four discs. A 3D Blu Ray disc, a regular Blu Ray disc, a DVD and digital copy. There are a few extras. An interview with Robert Rodriquez, deleted scenes, a making of featurette and a video diary with Rowan and Mason.
This is a kids movie, the brush strokes are broad, the humor unsophisticated, not that I didn’t enjoy it but it was the ten year old in me that got a kick out of it not the adult.
Overall (not an average) 7/10
The Movie: 7/10
The Video: 8/10
The Audio: 7/10
The Packaging and Bonus Feature: 7/10
Overall (not an average): 7/10