The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl is by no means an exceptional film.
It is not a visual masterpiece; though absurdly creative.
It is not an emotional rollercoaster, though near-sickeningly sweet.
It is not one of the great examples of mid-2000’s filmmaking; though is most certainly one of its most memorable.
No, it is none of these things. But wholesome? Endearing? A genuine expression of creative and fatherly love; a translation of his own son’s stories, into something Rodriguez hoped he would love. Absolutely. A deeply flawed film; without question, yet there is not a cynical bone in its body.
The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl is a testament to the fact that not every film is studio mandated, made for a quick buck, and disposable. In a world of corporate PR, even heartfelt directors and writers can be distrusted; regardless of film quality, as we instinctively distrust ‘the system’ trying to sell us yet more stuff.
Do we go along with it? Often, yes; yet we know when a product is that above all else. You can feel it at the core of an idea and this is why Robert Rodriguez’s 2005 family-adventure, sci-fi fantasy flick has always been a standout in this regard. It is one of the very few films where what you see is what you get, in heart, soul, and ethics. It may not be a cinematic masterpiece for the ages, yet it is a personally inspiring film to many.
In a world where so much feels pre-packaged, this sequel trailer was an overload of unrestrained joy: Short, stylish; campy to the core. The alien designs are reminiscent of ‘The Martians’ from War of the Worlds, yet their colour scheme and VFX look like a McDonalds’ toy or Hot-Wheels car. Furthermore, it is a film destined to be discussed in the car-rides home from birthday parties, to be the source of much roleplay on school playgrounds: Put simply, it is pure and unadulterated childhood nostalgia and fun.
The world has been through many trials and tribulations since the release of the original Sharkboy and Lavagirl. After a year like 2020, a nostalgic journey back into childhood to open 2021; the film debuting on New Year’s Day, is perhaps exactly what we need to move forward into 2021.
Marley Eleven Bury is a twenty-one year old Film & TV writer who loves takeaway and the superhero genre far too much. His claims to fame are having listened to the entire 26-hour+ Fire and Blood audiobook multiple times and being able to sing the Periodic Table song from memory.