Painful to watch, on just about every level imaginable. The bleary 3-D sequences induce headaches, as does the strained, after-school-special narrative. Then there is the fact that writer-director Robert Rodriguez created the movie with the help of his 8-year-old son. Not only
did I have to suffer through the film, but reviewing it made me feel like a schoolyard bully. The film begins charmingly enough with the simple story of Sharkboy (Taylor Lautner), a lost kid who has been raised by Great Whites. To stretch things out to feature-film length, however, Lavagirl (Taylor
Dooley) is added, as well as a needlessly complex framing narrative involving a boy (Cayden Boyd) who writes a story about the characters for school and is ridiculed as a dreamer by his classmates. What follows is a labored lesson about the importance of the imagination, occasionally peppered with an object flying out at you from
the screen. Sharkboy and Lavagirl would have been best left hanging on the Rodriguez family refrigerator, not in on DVD for all to see.