Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over

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Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over
Spy Kids 3-D movie poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRobert Rodriguez
Produced by
Written byRobert Rodriguez
Music byRobert Rodriguez
CinematographyRobert Rodriguez
Edited byRobert Rodriguez
Distributed byDimension Films[1]
Release date
  • July 25, 2003 (2003-07-25) (United States)
Running time
84 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$38 million[3]
Box office$197 million[3]
3D glasses for "Spy Kids 3D". Glasses included with DVD release did not include the strap.

Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (also known as Spy Kids 3: Game Over) is a 2003 American spy action comedy film, the sequel to Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams, and the third installment overall in the Spy Kids film series. Written and directed by Robert Rodriguez and co-produced by Elizabeth Avellán, it was released in the United States on July 25, 2003 by Dimension Films.[1] The film features an ensemble cast including Antonio Banderas, Steve Buscemi, Alan Cumming, Carla Gugino, Bobby Edner, Salma Hayek, Courtney Jines, Mike Judge, Cheech Marin, Ricardo Montalbán, Matt O'Leary, Emily Osment, Bill Paxton, Ryan Pinkston, Daryl Sabara, Tony Shalhoub, Sylvester Stallone, Holland Taylor, Danny Trejo, Alexa Vega, and Robert Vito. Despite mixed reviews, the film grossed $197 million on a $38 million budget.

The entire film was filmed in a green-screen environment.[4] Though this was initially intended to be the final installment in the Spy Kids film series, it was eventually followed by a fourth film, Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, in 2011.


Juni Cortez, after the events of the second film has retired from the OSS. He now lives a quiet life and works as a private detective, although his salary is very little. One day, he is contacted by President Devlin, former head of OSS, who informs him that his sister, Carmen Cortez, is missing after a mission gone wrong.

Arriving at the technological and computer part of the OSS, Juni is reunited with a now reformed Donnagon and his wife Francesca, who explain that Carmen was captured by the Toymaker, a former OSS informant. The Toymaker was imprisoned in cyberspace by the OSS, but he has since created Game Over, a virtual reality-based video game which he intends on using to escape cyberspace via players that reach Level 5, which is unwinnable. Juni agrees to venture into the game, save Carmen, and shut down the game, given only twelve hours to win. He is also informed that his sister was last seen on Level 4.

In the game, Juni finds the challenges difficult, having only nine lives within the game and already losing one at the start. While roaming a cartoon-like medieval village, he finds three beta-testers, Francis, Arnold, and Rez, who provide him with a passage to the Moon and launch him into space, but mostly to get rid of the competition.

Juni lands on the Moon, losing another life in the process, and receives an opportunity to bring in a fellow ally to assist him. He chooses his grandfather Valentin, who uses a wheelchair and has a personal history with the Toymaker. Valentin receives a power-up which gives him a robotic bodysuit, allowing him to walk and possess superhuman strength and durability. Distracted by a butterfly, he abandons Juni, telling him that they will regroup later. Searching for the entrance to Level 2, Juni ventures into a robot battle arena where he fights a girl named Demetra in order to return to Earth and Level 2. In the fight, he receives a robotic, more powerful suit, and he is placed on a huge mecha to combat Demetra. In the 3-round fight, in which he loses another life, he defeats Demetra and returns to Earth.

He meets the beta-testers again who believe he is a player named "The Guy", who can supposedly beat Level 5. Rez is unconvinced and challenges Juni to a "Mega-race" involving a multitude of different vehicles, which will allow them on Level 3. The only apparent rule of this game is "Win, at all costs". Juni wins the race with help from Valentin, and Demetra joins the group; she and Juni display romantic feelings for each other, with him giving her a med-pack with extra lives and she provides him with an illegal map of the game. Upon entering level 3, Arnold and Juni are forced to battle each other, the loser getting an immediate game over. During the fight, Juni loses almost all of his lives, but Demetra swaps places with Juni and is defeated, seemingly getting a game over, much to Juni's sadness.

The group arrives at Level 4 where Juni finds Carmen, released by the Toymaker, who leads the group on. Carmen notices their grandfather is with them and tells Juni that the Toymaker is the reason their grandfather uses a wheelchair. Juni follows a map to a lava-filled gorge. The group surfs their way through the lava. The OSS finds out about the history between the Toymaker and Valentin. Fearing that Valentin might seek revenge, Donnagon attempts to prevent them from reaching Level 5, but fails, as they fall into the lava and discover that it is harmless, and they reach a cavern where they find the door to Level 5. Outside the door to Level 5, Carmen informs them that they only have 5 minutes left. After the other gamers start to think that Carmen and Juni are deceivers and Rez threatens to give Juni a game over, the real "Guy" appears and opens the door. However, he is struck by lightning as part of a booby trap set by the Toymaker when the door to Level 5 is breached, which makes him lose all of his hundred lives and get a game over, forcing the group to move on without him.

In the Level 5 zone, which is a purple-ish cyberspace, Demetra then appears, claiming to have gotten back into the game via a glitch but Carmen identifies her as "The Deceiver", a program used to fool players. Demetra confirms this and apologizes to a stunned Juni before the Toymaker attacks the group with a giant robot. Valentin then appears, holding the entrance back to the real world open so the group can escape. However, he cannot come with them since someone needs to hold the door open. Demetra, shedding a tear, quickly holds the door open so he can go with them. After their return though, it is revealed that Valentin released the Toymaker, with the villain's army of robots now attacking the city.

Juni and Carmen summon their family members: Parents Gregorio and Ingrid, Gregorio's brother Machete, their Grandmother, and Uncle Felix. With too many robots to handle, Juni calls out for everyone to help, summoning characters from the first two films. All of the robots are destroyed except for the Toymaker's. Valentin confronts The Toymaker, and forgives the Toymaker for what he did to him, which Valentin had been trying to find the Toymaker to do for 30 years. The Toymaker shuts down his robot and joins the rest of the Cortez family and their friends in celebrating their families.



Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (Music from the Motion Picture)
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedJuly 22, 2003 (original release)
GenreSoundtrack, pop rock
LabelMilan Records
Robert Rodriguez film soundtrack chronology
Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams
Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (Music from the Motion Picture)
Once Upon a Time in Mexico
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2.5/5 stars link
Filmtracks2/5 stars
SoundtrackNet2/5 stars

The film score was composed by Robert Rodriguez and is the first score for which he takes solo credit. Rodriguez also performs in the "Game Over" band, playing guitar, bass, keyboard and drums, including the title track, "Game Over", performed by Alexa Vega.[5]

All selections composed by Rodriguez and performed by Texas Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by George Oldziey and Rodriguez.

  1. "Game Over" (vocals by Alexa Vega)
  2. "Thumb Thumbs"
  3. "Pogoland"
  4. "Robot Arena"
  5. "Metal Battle"
  6. "Toymaker"
  7. "Mega Racer"
  8. "Programmerz"
  9. "Bonus Life"
  10. "Cyber Staff Battle"
  11. "Tinker Toys"
  12. "Lava Monster Rock"
  13. "The Real Guy"
  14. "Orbit"
  15. "Welcome to the Game"
  16. "Heart Drive" (performed by Bobby Edner and Alexa Vega)
  17. "Game Over (Level 5 Mix)" (performed by Alexa Vega)
  18. "Isle of Dreams (Cortez Mix)" (performed by Alexa Vega)
  • Tracks 17–18 produced by Dave Curtin for DeepMix.


Home media[edit]

The film was released via VHS and DVD on February 24, 2004 by Dimension Home Video. The film's 3-D effect was not removable on the DVD release, but a 2D version (Spy Kids 3: Game Over) was available on a second disc, and on television airings. In April 2011 the film was re-released on DVD, but only in 2D and named Spy Kids 3: Game Over.

The 2D version was released via Blu-ray on August 2, 2011.[6] On December 4, 2012 Lionsgate released the 3D version as a double feature with The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl on Blu-ray 3D.[7]


Box office[edit]

Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over opened theatrically on July 25, 2003 in 3,344 venues, earning $33,417,739 in its first weekend and ranking first at the North American box office. It is the series' highest-grossing opening weekend.[8] The film ended its run on February 5, 2004, having grossed $111,761,982 domestically and $85,250,000 internationally for a worldwide total of $197,011,982, making it the best performing film in the series.[3]

Critical response[edit]

The film received mixed reviews from critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 45% approval rating based on 143 reviews, with an average rating of 5.42/10. The website's critical consensus states: "The movie will be found wanting if one is not taken in by the 3-D visuals."[9] Metacritic reports a 57/100 rating based on 30 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[10] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.[11]

Bob Longino of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote that "the 3-D process will hurt your eyes. The onscreen characters, who also wear 3-D glasses, even say so when it's time to take them off." However, he also stated that it helped mask what he deemed as an overall lack of a story.[12] Jim Lane of Sacramento News and Review called the 3D scenes "murky and purple like a window smeared with grape jell-o."[13] Roger Ebert gave the film one and a half stars out of four, suggesting that perhaps Rodriguez was held back by the film's technical constraints. Ebert also admitted to showing disdain for the 3D gimmick, saying that the picture quality with the 3D glasses is more murky and washed out than the crisper and more colorful 2D films.[14] Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle noted Carmen's absence for much of the film and criticized the plot's repeated scenes of Juni attempting over and over again to reach Level Five.[15] Kimberly Jones of the Austin City Chronicle praised the visuals but called the plot twig-thin and stated that the parents' near absence in the story makes Rodriguez's continuing theme of family ties seem much less resonant than in the other films.[16] The reason the characters were in minor roles and cameos was because Rodriguez was filming Once Upon a Time in Mexico while writing the third Spy Kids film.[17][better source needed]

For his performance as The Toymaker, Sylvester Stallone earned a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor at John J. B. Wilson's 2003 Golden Raspberry Awards ceremony.

Other media[edit]


It was followed up in 2011 by a fourth film in the series, Spy Kids: All the Time in the World.


Talk Miramax Books released a novelization of the movie in June 2003. The novel was written by children's book author Kitty Richards. The posters and end of the credits even say "Read the Talk/Miramax Books", telling the viewers to read the print retelling.

In popular culture[edit]

In "The Never-Ending Stories" episode of the animated TV series American Dad (Season 15, episode 9, first broadcast April 9, 2018) CIA agent Stan Smith tells the class he is teaching that he is the only contributor to the Wikipedia article on Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over.


  1. ^ a b c "Spy Kids 3D: Game Over (2003)". American Film Institute. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  2. ^ "SPY KIDS 3-D GAME OVER (U)". British Board of Film Classification. July 21, 2003. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "Spy Kids 3D: Game Over (2003)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. February 6, 2004. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  4. ^ http://teacher.scholastic.com/scholasticnews/indepth/3d/kids.htm
  5. ^ Ruiz, Rafael (August 24, 2003). "SoundtrackNet: Spy Kids 3D: Game Over Soundtrack". Soundtrack.net. Autotelics. Retrieved August 24, 2011.
  6. ^ Plath, James (May 15, 2011). "Spy Kids films are headed to Blu-ray". DVD Town. HD DVD.org. Archived from the original on May 18, 2011. Retrieved August 24, 2011.
  7. ^ Kauffman, Jeffrey (December 7, 2012). "Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over / Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  8. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for July 25-27, 2003". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. July 28, 2003. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  9. ^ "Spy Kids 3-D - Game Over (2003)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  10. ^ "Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
  11. ^ "CinemaScore". CinemaScore.
  12. ^ Longino, Bob. "Spy Kids 3D: Game Over". accessAtlanta. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on February 24, 2012. Retrieved October 28, 2009.
  13. ^ Lane, Jim (July 31, 2003). "Film>Short Reviews: Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over". Sacramento News & Review. Chico Community Publishing. Retrieved October 28, 2009.
  14. ^ Ebert, Roger (July 25, 2003). "Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over". RogerEbert.com. Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved October 28, 2009.
  15. ^ LaSalle, Mick (July 25, 2003). "Game's over for latest 'Spy Kids'". San Francisco Chronicle. Hearst Communications. Retrieved October 22, 2009.
  16. ^ Jones, Kimberly (July 25, 2003). "Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved October 28, 2009.
  17. ^ Rodriguez, Robert (July 25, 2003). "An Interview with Robert Rodriguez (2003)". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved April 13, 2018.

External links[edit]