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Shark Boy & Lava GirlThe Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl (w/3D)

Starring:Cayden Boyd, Taylor Lautner, Taylor Dooley, George Lopez, David Arquette, Kristen Davis and Jacob Davich
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez
Written by: Racer and Robert Rodriguez

 

 

Bluntly speaking? The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl is simply a cornucopia of mixed glee. This yarn of stratospheric visual shenanigans is for the whole family! There are plenty of sub textual life lessons, but they are of the inspiring sort: "go ahead dream - be yourself." The film has some delish 3D - but thankfully, not the whole film is glass-wearin' requiremental. But, it's not the special effects galore that make Shark Boy and Lava Girl an insta-family film treasure, it's the genuine happiness and plain old fun factor of the film, mixed with a heavy hand of entertainment spectacle.

Story goes…Max (Cayden Boyd) is the nerdy dreamer at school. When he stands up to tell his summertime adventure, he speaks of a boy and a girl from another world who visited him; the boy (Taylor Lautner) is half shark, and the girl (Taylor Dooley) is made of lava.

Naturally his classmates giggle and poke fun at the screenwriter in the making…especially one particularly big blue meany, Linus (Jacob Davich).

Depressed and deflated, Max heads home to his bickering parents (David Arquette & Kristen Davis), and wishes anything would happen - anything at all - so he won't have to go to school the next day. Haven't we all been there?

Well, of course it does - Rodriguez style - and off we all go with Shark Boy, Lava Girl and Max to Planet Drool. The duo explain only Max can help save the planet from destruction, as it was his dreams that created this world in the first place. This is news to Max and regardless of his being the apparent creator extraordinaire of Planet Drool, this humble king will still have to travel through The Stream of Consciousness, stay steady on the Train of Thought, sail through The Land of Milk and Cookies, and up to the ice castle to save the disintegrating world.

Can Max get the crystal heart before the planet's covered in darkness by those who would stop your dreams? The maniacal Mr. Electric (George Lopez) has an army of plug hounds who are gonna try and stop him…and there's a mysterious evil doer in the shadows - who seems to have Max's number.

It's a delightful and original film, with a smidge of retro-Willy Wonka for good measure. But, don't be fooled, Shark Boy and Lava Girl is a one-of-a-kind creation; bursting with cleverness, glorious and fantastical characters and devilishly clever ideas, all stitched together with kid talent and a couple of adults thrown in for good measure. Of note is George Lopez, who has a dual role, and is simply hilarious - whether you're a kid or a SUV drivin, 401k watchin' adult sort - he's f-u-n-n-y.

Director/writer Robert Rodriguez knows kids - heck this film is co written and based on his own son, Racer Max's dreams. But, Rodriguez also respects kids. He lets them be children; dream and giggle while never talking down to them. And the films he creates for the youngins like the whole Spy Kids franchise and now Shark Boy and Lava Girl pop shimmy and shine for it. Bravo!

Snack recommendation: Milk and chocolate chip cookies

 

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