The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl
The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl is a 2005 action-adventure/family movie directed and written by Robert Rodriguez (known for Sin City as well as the Spy Kids franchise). The film stars Taylor Lautner (who would later play Jacob in the Twilight Saga), Taylor Dooley, Cayden Boyd, Jacob Davich, George Lopez and Sasha Pieterse. The movie was created as a gift for Robert Rodriguez's son, Racer Max Rodriguez. His sons were also in the movie as cameos. The film was released on June 10, 2005 and received unfavorable reviews from both critics and audiences. Much like the Spy Kids franchise, the movie later received a cult following.
A boy named Max (Cayden Boyd) has a wild imagination, and he dreams of two imaginary friends named Sharkboy (Taylor Lautner) and Lavagirl (Taylor Dooley) and a planet known as "Planet Drool". Some of his dreams are so powerful that they can actually come to life. His classmates, except for a girl named Marissa (Sasha Pieterse), don't believe him, especially a kid named Linus (Jacob Davich) who bullies him mercilessly for it, but one day on a stormy weather, his imaginary friends crash into school, recruiting him to help them on a mission to save Planet Drool from The Darkness and the corrupted Mr. Electric (George Lopez).
Why It Sucks
- Awful CGI and green-screen effects, which are either laughably bad or downright terrifying (this film came out after The Lord of the Rings trilogy), especially for 2005 standards, and there's also instances of copy and pasting, like Mr, Electric's "dogs" and they also use the same splatter effect and the splatter effect looks exactly like the ones from Foodfight!.
- Bad acting, with our three main characters being wooden, but childish as of Linus and George Lopez being over the top.
- Repetitive 3D effects.
- Some of the characters are unlikable and are bland American stereotypes.
- Sharkboy is rude and immature for most of the movie, who makes Jacob Black from the Twilight film series look like an amateur.
- Lavagirl is incredibly bland as she can be.
- But is extremely annoying, and gets mad at Max for unfair reasons. It is never explained how she came to life when Lavagirl accidentally burned Max's dream journal.
- Mr. Electric being a villain in Max's world makes no sense whatsoever. He has some bad electricity puns just like Mr. Freeze from Batman and Robin.
- Linus/Minus is your typical bully that has no personality and character development who pretends that Max doesn't exist and wants to "burst" him with "bubbles", but steals his dream journal to ruin it as a "revised edition". He acts as a selfish liar who wants to keep his troubles hidden by getting Max expelled at the principal's office.
- Mr. Electricidad, in one scene, tells Max and Linus to go to the principal's office, when it should only be Linus because he ruined Max's dream journal. He is also an hypocrite and he suggests Max to make friends but doesn't want him to approach his daughter Marissa.
- Some scenes are just plain stupid, such as the scene where Mr. Electric farts on one of his robotic minions.
- Terrible and laughable dialogue, such as Max's line "Linus took my journal" and "He ruined my dream journal". Along with Linus's line "I did not! Mr. Electric send him to the principal's office and have him expelled!"
- At times there's outright creepy imagery, such as Lavagirl transforming into a lava puddle and her head turning around in a 360 degree or Tobor who's a disembodied robot face or Lavagirl staring at Max telling him to dream.
- The film feels uncomfortable to watch.
- The film's plot about Max going to a different planet is extremely unoriginal.
- Despite what it says, Max and Marissa are likeable characters.
- Mr. Electricidad, despite being an unlikable teacher, can also be likeable at some times and shows that he isn't willing to tolerate bullying, like when he reprimands Linus/Minus for picking on Max.
- The soundtrack is decent, with "The Dream Song" (sung by Sharkboy) being particularly catchy.
- The movie was created as a birthday present for Rodriguez's son, so you can't be too harsh on something that was specially made for someone.
- A few funny moments here and there.
- Minus/Linus's performance and delivery is so over the top it's entertaining and hilarious, but he does redeem himself and becomes Max's friend.
- The film's message that "you need to solve your problems in the real world" is nice.
- It is followed up with a stand-alone sequel, We Can Be Heroes, which is a huge improvement to it's predecessor.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a score of 19% based on 124 reviews. The site's consensus states "The decision to turn this kiddie fantasy into a 3-D film was a miscalculation." On IDMb, the film has an average rating of 3.6/10.