“The Adventures of Sharkboy & Lavagirl” was directed by Robert Rodriguez and is based on the stories and concepts of his own children. The film stars Cayden Boyd, Taylor Lautner, Taylor Dooley, David Arquette, Kristin Davis & George Lopez. While Rodriguez is mostly known for violent and dark action films such as “From Dusk Til Dawn” and both the 2 “Machete” films and the “Desperado” trilogy, he has had major success with his family films, the original “Spy Kids” trilogy and its 2011 follow up. Lopez and Rodriguez also serve as the voices for certain characters in the story.
In Austin, Texas, a young 10 boy named Max (Boyd) has a dream of a distant planet known as Planet Drool where a kid can endless fun. However, when that Planet begins fall apart Max must team up with a duo of heroes known as Sharkboy (Lautner) and Lavagirl (Dooley) who also are apart of Max’s dream. On Planet Drool, a mysterious figure is corrupting the endless fun by taking away the ability to dream. Along with this figure comes Mr. Electric (Lopez) the main villain who is attempting to absorb the dream power to conquer Planet Drool. With time running out, Max, Sharkboy and Lavagirl must travel across the planet to stop the dark figure, unplug Mr. Electric and discover the secrets and the importance of dreaming.
Back in early and mid 2000s, 3-D movies were much more video game like with a really dated look and don’t necessarily hold up anymore and this film is no different. The film has a generic and pretty basic story, the visuals are bad and pretty much a main stay of movies that came out around the same time, like Rodriguez’s other 3-D film, 2004’s “Spy Kids 3”. They come across as bad PC game, very clunky and doesn’t work well with the storyline. While the Lopez’s gives an over the top performance, it works well for a kids film. The 3 kid characters are pretty solid. Dooley is the standout as her performance is much more heartfelt and better suited to the film while Lautner’s physical performance gives the film the counter balance for the fight and action sequences.
I completely forgot about this film until my 2 sons found it on Netflix. The film was a box office disappointment but there still is somewhat of an entertaining quality to it. Rodriguez would not return to kids film until 2011, he would go on to direct 2005’s “Sin City” and 2010’s “Machete” as well as their respected sequels. He also directed 2019’s “Alita: Battle Angel” and “Red 11”. He also directed half of the 2007’s Grindhouse double feature alongside Quentin Tarantino, “Planet Terror”. Taylor Dooley didn’t really pursue films after this film, Cayden Boyd appeared other yet smaller films and TV shows. Taylor Lautner would go on to play “Jacob Black” in the “Twilight” franchise, 5 films from 2008-2013. He would also star in 2011’s “Abduction”, 2013’s “Grown Ups 2” and 2015’s “The Ridiculous 6”. Robert Rodriguez announced that a stand alone film, “We Can Be Heroes”, will see the return of Sharkboy and Lavagirl set for a 2021 release straight to Netflix. Taylor Lautner and Taylor Dooley are scheduled to return as well.