'Sharkboy' Lacks Bite

By Desson Thomson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 9, 2005

Robert Rodriguez's intentions seem honorable: to make a charming, low-tech, 3-D movie for children, based on the writings of his preteen son. But the result is astoundingly boring and, frankly, tedious to sit through.

It's about a 10-year-old kid named Max (Cayden Boyd) who daydreams so intensely about his imagined superheroes, Sharkboy (Taylor Lautner) and Lavagirl (Taylor Dooley), the fictional creations come alive. Max and his superpals find themselves (put on your 3-D glasses here) on Planet Drool, where Max must help them battle the nefarious Mr. Electric (George Lopez), a cheaply superimposed head inside a metallic holder, which fizzes with electricity. Mr. E. also looks a lot like Max's math teacher, Mr. Electricidad. (I'm not sure if I was awake at that moment to truly understand the significance of that one.) The planet is Max's creation, which means if something goes wrong, he's got to lie down, fall asleep and literally dream up a solution. Unfortunately, all the sleeping in the world couldn't improve this movie.

The dreamscape, with its cookie mountains and a milky "stream of consciousness," is disappointingly mediocre. And the 3-D effects are unimaginative and eventually too obnoxious for the eyes. Maybe Rodriguez should stick to vampires and guitar-strumming heroes.

The Adventures of Sharkboy & Lavagirl (PG, 94 minutes) -- Contains mildly crude humor . Area theaters.

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