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Spy Kids II: Island of Lost Dreams

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I liked the first Spy Kids movie a lot. It was a simple, enjoyable adventure story, told with humor and style and livened up with imaginative sets and great gadgets. I liked the premise: Gregorio and Ingrid Cortez are spies, a job they have to keep secret from their kids. The kids are smart, though, so they find out. This is good, because the parents get into trouble, and their kids have to rescue them by using the full range of spy techniques and technologies. The message of the movie is a healthy one. The children and the parents are brave, intelligent, and resourceful, but the real key to their success is when they put aside the things that divide them and work together as a unified family. The importance of family solidarity is hardly the usual message promoted by Hollywood.

A friend of mine was bothered because Robert Rodriguez, the director, set the movie in an advanced Western society that just so-happened to be Spanish-speaking and “Hispanic.” My friend thought this was not only pandering to America’s Mexican invaders, but an attempt to convince the American public that nothing important would be lost if they were Mexicanized. He might very well be right about what appealed to the Jews who control the film industry, but I do not think that it is the message of the movie or the intent of the director.

I do not use the concept of “Hispanic” because it is a cultural-linguistic category, not a racial one. It embraces Nordic, Celtic, and Mediterranean Whites, American Indians, Negroes, and even Asians like Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori–plus every conceivable form of racial mongrel. But I am all for White people from Spain and Portugal and Latin America.

A lot of Nordic White Nationalists have strong prejudices against Mediterranean Whites. Personally, I love Mediterranean cuisines, cultures, and climates, from Iberia across the South of France to Italy and Greece. I also find Mediterranean physical types very attractive as well. But I admit that I am annoyed by the corruption, chaos, and inefficiency that plague all these countries, especially their former New World colonies.

Nevertheless, galling though it may be to Nordicists, the Whitest countries in the Western Hemisphere are now Argentina and Uruguay, and those Latin American countries with multiracial populations are ruled by White elites that are far more racially conscious than those of more Nordic countries.

So I did not object to the “Hispanic” cast of Spy Kids because it was virtually all White. I admit that one character, Uncle Machete, looked like a Mestizo. He was cast as a brilliant inventor but looked like he would be challenged to operate a leaf-blower.

Spy Kids II is a terrible movie. It is proof positive that Robert Rodriguez just lucked out with the first film. He has no idea of how to make a good movie, so he could not repeat his success. The main problem with Spy Kids II is that its plot literally does not make sense. I am pretty smart, and I could not figure it out. The kids in the theater were even more perplexed, and quite a few of them were bored and fidgeting. Like every movie without a plot, Spy Kids II is just one damn thing after another. To conceal the lack of a good story, director Rodriguez falls back on spectacular sets and special effects as well as lame gags and gadgets. A lot of the gadgets seem to have been stuck in the movie merely to sell toys and Happy Meals. Rodriguez tries to redeem this crass commercialism by pausing to stick wholesome little messages in the film, but the messages are not integrated into the overall story, so they come off as just . . . messages.

Another annoying feature of this film is its self-conscious postmodernist allusions to other films. Yes, even in a kids’ movie! In one scene, the kids find the golden idol from the opening sequence of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Then there is an allusion to The Lord of the Rings. Then there is a tribute to the sword-fighting skeletons and battling monsters created by the great Ray Harryhausen. It’s all very amusing. But it is no substitute for a plot.

Just your typical "Hispanic" family

If you wish to subject yourself and your kids to this plotless, boring, pathetic excuse for a movie, you can at least take solace in the fact that, like the first Spy Kids movie, there is nothing racially offensive here. The cast is virtually all White. This movie is set in the United States, whereas I do not recall any indication of where the first movie was set. There are more Nordics in this movie. One of the main plot elements is the rivalry between the Latin Cortez family, with red and brown hair and green and brown eyes, and the Nordic Giggles family, who have blonde hair and blue and green eyes. But it would require more paranoia than I can muster to make much of this. Besides, the conflict just does not map out neatly along an opposition between Nordics and Mediterraneans. Papa Giggles and his son Gary turn out to be bad guys, but little blue-eyed blonde Gertie Giggles turns out to be OK. (She betrays her family to do the right thing.) The Cortez girl is attracted to blonde bad-boy Gary, and the Cortez boy is attracted to the hyper-Nordic daughter of the US president. Papa Cortez is played by Antonio Banderas, but his wife Ingrid is a green-eyed redhead, her mother is a blonde, blue-eyed Nordic, and her father is played by Riccardo Montalban.

Skip Spy Kids II and spend the time reading to your children. Take them to an art or science museum. Teach them a useful skill. Tell them stories about your family and its history. Take them to the woods or the seashore and teach them about nature. Point out the constellations under a starry sky. Give them a perspective on things that allows them to see movies like Spy Kids II and the gadgets and fads they spawn as the trivial waste of time they really are.

August 12, 2002

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