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YMMV / Spy Kids

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: With its agents constantly going rogue, and its use of children for dangerous missions, it's not hard to argue that the OSS are corrupt and villainous, particularly when Juni decides to quit being an OSS agent after seeing how some of their top agents are expected to act.
  • Awesome Music:
    • "Isle of Dreams", the song played during the end credits of the second movie.
    • The third movie's end credits has "Heart Drive", a rap-metal duet between Alexa Vega and Bobby Edner with a bitchin' chiptune-inspired synth hook sprinkled on top. It's so cheesy it 180's around to being awesome.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • The appearance of the "real Guy" (played by Elijah Wood) in the third movie. To clarify, he just suddenly shows up, gives an inspirational speech... then he gets severely curb-stomped, booting him out of the game. He is never talked about again.
    • Both the first and second film end with a post-credits scene, the first being a shot of inside Floop's castle and the second of the treehouse. Nothing happens in either sequence.
  • Contested Sequel: Some say the second movie is along the same lines of the original, while others think it's worse.
  • Critical Dissonance: The first and second films have 93% and 75% on Rotten Tomatoes, respectively, but audience scores of 45% and 38%. Also, on IMDb, the average ratings for the films are are 5.4 and 5.1.
  • First Installment Wins: The first movie was the best received.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Magnificent Bastard: Alexander Minion is the affable, humorous mastermind of the "Spy Kids" plot, playing the part of a put-upon lackey to Fegan Floop to hide his truly brilliant colors. Capturing and mutating a variety of OSS secret agents to whittle down enemy opposition before creating an army of robotic doppelganger children, Minion builds Floop up as a figurehead to gain funding for his plans and keep suspicion off his double dealings. Minion uses his knowledge as a former OSS agent to capture even the skilled Cortez agents, deduces the location of the legendary Third Brain, then steals it from the Cortez kids to perfect his "Spy Kids", after which Minion betrays Floop and asserts himself as the film's true villain. Minion's resolve is so great that he faces capture and defeat with brevity, and allows himself to be monstrously mutated to continue his schemes. When beaten, Minion simply takes on a side gig as Floop's TV partner and becomes a close ally to the Cortez family, accepting his ultimate fate as a suitable living.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Do you think God stays in Heaven because he too lives in fear of what he's created?" Explanation 
      • And then the above quote mutated further into "The Dinkster Channel". Explanation 
    • The sheer lunacy of "The Guy" being built up in Game Over only to appear and be booted immediately afterwards. Elijah Wood playing him for basically 2 minutes makes it more surreal.
    • "shit talking mushrooms"Explanation 
  • Padding:
    • Juni's relationship with Alexandra in the second film, who's daddy issues are barely explained and who doesn't reappear for the third film; Demetra herself isn't much better, and is forgotten about entirely after her Heroic Sacrifice.
    • To add to that, Juni is terminated from the OSS for all of a few hours before Carmen signs him back up, and nobody makes any fuss about this change.
    • Elijah Wood's cameo as "The Guy", who lasts for all of sixty seconds upon his reveal.
  • Sequelitis:
  • Special Effect Failure: The 3D in the third movie is very poorly done, barely resembling 3D at all. Understandable, seeing as this movie came out when the advent of 3D was still trying to get on its feet, and the movie itself was filmed using a primitive version of James Cameron's 3D camera system.
    • The greenscreening is also incredibly blatant, especially during the fight scene at the end of the movie.
    • One from early in the first movie involves Ingrid moving her chair over to Gregorio. The track on which her chair is on is very clearly visible. Whether this is justifiable as yet another spy gadget's visible elements is debatable.
  • Squick:
    • At one point in the second movie, Gerti and Gary wind up in a desert (due to Carmen and Juni's meddling) and are unsure of where they are. They fall into what at first seems to be a mud pit, only to look around and see camels surrounding them. Horrified, Gerti exclaims that it is, indeed, camel poop. Skip a few seconds into the future, and you see Gary opening his mouth and spitting a big chunk, "mud" out of his teeth.
    • The fourth film sees Marissa uses her baby's used diapers as weapons against several mooks in the movie.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • Gregorio imagining himself trouncing a bully's parent (which he easily could) and impressing Juni. All he wants is to be his son's hero.
    • The Time Keeper's backstory in the fourth movie. Frozen in time, forced to watch his father grow old, wasting his life trying to find a way to free him, only to be released by a Deus ex Machina after his death. Say what you will about the rest of the film, that is heartbreaking.
  • Toy Ship: Juni and Alexandra in the second film, and Juni and Demetra in the third film (with a Ship Tease of Juni and Gertie at the end, too). Carmen, who at least looked old enough to be interested in the opposite sex, only got an unreciprocated crush on Gary in the second film.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Most if not all of the adult characters are played by actors known for starring in much more mature content, so having Spy Kids on their resumes is a bit interesting. Arguably, it works in the franchise's favor for making excellent use of Playing Against Type, especially since parents/older viewers are more likely to catch this than younger viewers unfamiliar with them.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?:
    • Some of the battle suits from the third movie are quite laughable. "The Guy" in particular looks absolutely hysterical for a supposed badass.
    • The Time Keeper's costume would have looked just fine if he wore an actual clock shaped helmet and not just a rubbery, plastic mask. All the funding of the OSS and he couldn't get himself a decent mask?