This is what cinema would look like if kids made movies. I mean this both as a compliment and a warning. Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez went from being the director best known for violent films such as El Mariachi and Desperado, or any number of collaborations which have come from working alongside his friend Quentin Tarantino, to being the kind of director who made films for his family.
With The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl he seems to have moved on to making films with his family. This is admirable, but it doesn’t change the fact that this is the weakest in Rodriguez’s filmography. The only reason it is being released on Blu-ray at all seems to be because of the fact that a young Taylor Lautner (The Twilight Saga) has a supporting role. More evidence of how poorly this kid acts, despite his pretty looks.
Based on the ideas of Rodriguez’s son, Racer Max, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl is about an imaginative young boy (Taylor Dooley) who is belittled for his creative mind. He is picked on at school for believing in a half-boy, half shark (Lautner) and a girl (Cayden Boyd) who spews lava from her hands, and at home his parents (David Arquette and Kristin Davis) are always fighting. Even his teacher (George Lopez) is unsupportive of his ideas, so it is a relief when they are all proved wrong.
The special effects certainly look great in high definition, despite the weak story and one-dimensional acting. I suppose it isn’t easy doing so much acting in front of a green screen, but that doesn’t make it any less painful to watch. The Blu-ray special features include a commentary track with Rodriguez and a featurette with Racer Max.