October 2002 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams  
  MILAN RECORDS 74321-95850-2   [43:54]

Spy Kids II

A pastiche, one which composer/director/writer/producer/production designer/director of photography Robert Rodriguez states pays tribute to the movies of Ray Harryhausen (Jason and the Argonautes (1963), The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958) etc.) and in particular those scored by the one and only Bernard Herrmann (the best example here being Debney's fairly enjoyable 'Skeletons'). But while this is a worthy ambition the music never really achieves its goal, perhaps due to Rodriguez's other aim, that the music have a child-like simplicity. Unfortunately this leads to the score seeming superficial, lacking anything that might elevate it to a higher level of imagination. The one thing it does have in its favour though is its good nature, as illustrated by the funky Spy Kids theme that appears on tracks like 'Magna Men' and 'Treehouse'. With reference to the score for the original Spy Kids, Rodriguez creates a Danny Elfman homage on 'Floop's Dream', but inevitably it is inferior to the genuine article featured the first time around (performed on both occasions by Alan Cumming).

Ultimately this is a score that has a certain shallowness, although it never really intends itself to be taken too seriously and some may find that quite refreshing. For myself, while generally I found it to be mildly diverting, I was always aware that this was a soundtrack that is entirely disposable.

Mark Hockley


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