Belfast Telegraph

Spy Kids adds smell to movie mix

Spy Kids director Robert Rodriguez deliberately tried to make the latest adventure in the franchise a bit of a stinker.

Robert, who helped usher in the new age of 3D movies with the third instalment in 2003, is billing Spy Kids: All The Time In The World as a 4D flick, adding scent cards so audiences can follow along on the action with their noses.

Viewers of the film - starring Jessica Alba and Joel McHale - are given scratch-and-sniff cards with circles numbered 1 to 8. When a number appears on screen, they rub the corresponding circle on their cards, which give off a whiff matching what the characters are smelling.

Robert - who calls the gimmick "Aroma-Scope" - tested it at screenings and found children and parents both enjoyed it.

"When it came time to do Spy Kids 4, I couldn't just go back and do 3D like everybody else is now. I had to bring something extra," he said.

"Just watching my own kids with interactive gaming, you ask them to watch a movie, it just feels so passive to them. I thought, this helps bridge the gap. It's an interactive thing, almost like playing a game while you're watching the movie."

In the new Spy Kids, a retired operative (Jessica) is called back to service to fight a villain who is threatening to bring about a quick end to the world.

She's kept her vocation a secret from her new husband (Joel), but her step-children (Rowan Blanchard and Mason Cook) end up pressed into the action, aided by the original spy kids (Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara) from the first three movies.

The smells from the cards are mostly pleasant. However, with gags about a spy baby's nappies, viewers should expect at least one bad odour.

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