I desperately want to see Cinderella Man. I want to see Batman Begins. I fear Crash will leave the theatre before I get to see it. These are some of the movies that I want to see, but being a parent means you sometimes go to the movies with your children. That means you sometimes have to go to a film like The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lava Girl in 3-D.
I had no intention of writing about this film, but I was hoping to be pleasantly surprised. I imagined writing an opening line such as: "I expected a juvenile special effects film but instead I was treated to a well told story rich with spiritual meaning." That is not going to happen. I would be exaggerating if I said that "Sharkboy and Lava Girl" was the stupidest movie I have ever seen, but I have seen some incredibly stupid movies in my time.
I wouldn't say that Sharkboy and Lava Girl is a bad movie. Rather I would say it is not a very good movie. It is not well made. The acting is weak. The plot and story are confusing. The emotional dynamic of the movie shifts too suddenly. I have read comic books with more drama. On top of that, the 3-D effects are poor and wasted on crude humor.
The content of the film has only a bit of redeeming quality. The theme of dreams and dreaming seemed a bit worn out at first. The story is the age-old tale of the persecuted dreamer who is told to give up his dreams and get rooted in reality. The story follows a series of events that vindicates the dreamer and the importance of dreaming. We have seen this many times before. What is unique about this film is the distinction between dreaming selfish dreams and dreaming a better dream. Better dreams are defined as those that consider the good and benefit of others. That is a noble sentiment and I appreciate the filmmaker communicating that to children.
I caution parents once again that my blog is not your best source for making movie viewing choices for your family. That is not the intent of this blog. If you see this movie, or any movie with your children, I urge you to talk with them about the film and get them to think about what they have seen and what values may have been present or missing in the film.
I understand that the filmmaker, Robert Rodriquez, made this film for his 7-year-old son. I appreciate that so much that the only reason I went to see the film was for my sons. My favorite part of the movie was well after it was over and I was enjoying dinner at Burger King with my two young film critics taking in their review of the film. Perhaps they need their own Magic Lantern Shows.