Troubled young Max (Cayden Boyd) seeks refuge in a faraway fantasy world with his imaginary best friends Sharkboy and Lavagirl. The adventures begin when the tweeny superheroes turn up for real in Max's classroom with the news that his help is desperately needed on the fabulous Planet Drool.
Writer-director Robert Rodriguezs latest unleashing of his inner Spy Kid actually started life in the imagination of his seven year-old son Racer, who dreamt up the scenario while playing with dad in the family pool. Having sold the idea on the spot to Miramax, Rodriguez then channelled Racers whimsical tales into a screenplay, for which Racer receives a full story credit.
All very heartwarming. Which means pointing out the resulting movies shortcomings makes you feel like a big old meanie. But that's showbiz, and although it pains one to step on a kids dreams, theres no escaping the fact that this flick, 3-D or no 3-D, is a calamitous mess that makes little sense to an adult eye and is unlikely to satisfy even the most undemanding of cinemagoing moppets.
It has none of the sprightly playfulness that made the Spy Kids series such a joy, devolving into a headache-inducing swarm of CG fantasy sequences desperately in search of a coherent point. They don't find one, and you're left wondering whether, on this evidence, Robert is still taking Racer's calls...
A bizarre, hopelessly muddled fantasy that's likely to induce utter bewilderment in its target audience.