Calling The Adevntures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl “ugly” is a grave understatement. This is a movie so ghastly that it feels like a genuine artistic achievement, like its blends of busy, discordant colors could only be conceived of in a fever dream. The CGI is busted and uncanny, but it only adds to the hallucinatory quasi-reality of the film.
The story, on the other hand, is a Freudian nightmare of semi-comprehensibility. Sharkboy and Lavagirl are essentially competing forces of protagonist Max’s subconscious. They drift through dreamlike settings that evoke childhood fantasies and delusions thinly masking pubescent sexual urges.
It’s truly a movie that must be seen to be believed, which is not to say it’s a “good” movie. Certainly, I hate many specific elements, not least of which are the gimmicky 3D pop-ups and George Lopez as a hammy Oz-like villain.
It’s ultimately equal parts cinematic fiasco and fantasia, while still conveying as mid-tier kiddie fare. A total identity crisis. I haven’t had more fun watching a movie in weeks.
Note: This review was originally published elsewhere. Please excuse brevity or inconsistencies in style. If you have questions or feedback, please leave a comment or contact me.