Robert Rodriguez has had a rather eclectic film career. Though the Austin, Texas-based filmmaker has directed such violent, R-rated fare as "El Mariachi," "Desperado" and the recent gore-fest "Sin City," the father of four sons has also enjoyed success with his "Spy Kids" adventures. He even successfully reintroduced the old '50s movie experiment of 3-D in his last "Spy Kids" vehicle.
And now he's returned to the kids' universe with "The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D," which opens Friday. The fantasy adventure revolves around a 10-year-old outcast, Max (Cayden Boyd), who escapes from the outside world -- squabbling parents, school bullies -- by creating the superheroes Sharkboy (Taylor Lautner), a kid who was lost at sea and raised by sharks, and Lavagirl (Taylor Dooley), a young woman with quite literally flaming hair.
Sharkboy and Lavagirl materialize at Max's school one day to ask for his help to save their home -- Planet Drool -- from being destroyed.
The film is aptly billed as a "Rodriguez Family Film," not only because it is PG-rated fare but because several members of his family were involved in the production.