Cast: Jimmy Bennett, Jolie Vanier
Direction: Robert Rodriguez
Rating: **& 1/2
He’s a virtual one-man film factory. Ever since his debut feature El Mariachi back in 1992, writer-director Robert Rodriguez has also photographed, edited, supervised the special effects and scored the music for almost all his films.
Following the successful Spy Kids trilogy, Rodriguez infiltrates the kiddie market once again with this hyper-fantastic morality-tale. What’s missing, though, is the sense of fun and fertile imagination in his best work.
The title is derived from the five vignettes (shorts) that form the core of the narrative. The non-linear structure becomes wearisome as the film stumbles along. The plot hinges on the adventures of a schoolboy (Bennett) who finds a rainbow-coloured rock that makes wishes come true. As the magic stone changes hands, the suburban community is overrun by crocodiles, aliens and what-critters-have-you.
The computer-generated effects are a bit tacky and amidst the mayhem, the script also packs in a cautionary message about the consequences of making an unreasonable wish. At best, there’s enough here to keep the undemanding tots engaged for the concise running time of 90 minutes.Shorts