THE ADVENTURES OF SHARKBOY AND LAVAGIRL IN 3-D (Robert Rodriguez, 2005)
With SIN CITY Robert Rodriguez made a comic book movie for adults. With THE ADVENTURES OF SHARKBOY AND LAVAGIRL IN 3-D he switches to a younger audience. Daydreaming Max believes that the child superheroes Sharkboy and Lavagirl are real, but no one will believe him. His teacher and classmates change their minds when the duo shows up at Max’s school and ask for his help in saving their home Planet Drool.
THE ADVENTURES OF SHARKBOY AND LAVAGIRL is based on a story conceived by Rodriguez’s seven-year-old son Racer. The juvenile inspiration gives the film its creative spark, making it the coolest home movie project imaginable for a father and son. Via Ray Harryhausen-like visual effects, some Salvador Dali landscapes, a dash of George Lucas adventure, and pun-centered humor, SHARKBOY AND LAVAGIRL brings to life what could have been a grade school creative writing assignment. SHARKBOY AND LAVAGIRL is the kind of film I would have loved as a kid. Even though I can see its faults now, I appreciate that Rodriguez has tailored it for children, for better and worse. The positive, youthful spirit and message about working to make one’s dreams real outweigh the slow spots and the dreary 3-D.
(Review first aired on the June 21, 2005 NOW PLAYING)