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The Cortez family is back in action as writer-director Robert Rodriguez (Desperado) stands to make a bundle from this second installment in his family-oriented espionage-action franchise. This time, Carmen and Juni (Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara) are off to the titular isle where they find mutated animals and a Dr. Moreau-type mad scientist (Steve Buscemi). Their goal? Save the world from an energy crisis, I think. The plot tends to take a back seat to the gadget-heavy action. In fact, Rodriguez seems to have made up for the slim story with lots of cool bells and whistles in the form of computer-generated effects. Carmen and Juni bicker and cooperate with the charm of real siblings, though. And you can’t help but appreciate the Latino heroes whether pint-size or grown-up—it should be noted that the gorgeous Cortez parents (Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino) return with their star appeal, as well.

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