For a long time, I thought that this movie was Japanese in origin, I think pretty much entirely due to first observing it in a collection of animated movies that seemed to otherwise be exclusively Studio Ghibli movies. I had a vague sense that it was a story of Ireland, and likely concerned a fantastical adventure with nature spirits, but barely even that. I pictured something like Fern Gulley with the Irish forests. The box art was not very descriptive at all, and I’ve chosen a poster I haven’t seen before that gives more of a sense of story over mood, though I grant the other version is more visually appealing.
Having so little to go on, I think the main thing that kept me less than interested for so long was the design style of the boy and girl characters not being one of my favorite looks. I’m also not sure if the title is meant to convey more than I’m picking up. I’ve only ever heard of Kells as in “Celtic knots inspired by the Book of Kells”, so for a long time I thought the Book of Kells was a book cataloging design. For a bit, I entertained the possibility that Kells might be another name for Celtic knots.
I passed by this a few times because I generally don’t consider crime movies to be my kind of thing. But then I noticed that it has comedy actors leading it, so I looked closer, and saw that it’s not just about stealing money, it’s about folks who lost their retirement funds to a scummy hedge fund manager stealing it back, and that interests me a lot.
I get the sense that a lot of “revenge on the Wall Street crooks” movies came out in the years after the 2009 collapse, but I mainly get that from having seen Fun with Dick and Jane in the last year, which was very very loudly about surviving a Wall Street implosion (looking it up, I realize that movie in particular wasn’t about the 2009 collapse, but the timing seems more like it was about Enron).
While the red and orange background isn’t all that unique, this poster design doesn’t do much to communicate that this is Spy Kids but with less imagination and more Jackie Chan. I’m probably always up for a Jackie Chan comedy, but the bar’s been set pretty low.
I had no idea that Billy Ray Cyrus or George Lopez were in this movie until I started looking for posters. I would’ve expected George Lopez to get more promotional focus, especially considering when the movie was made.
I’m just now noticing just how big a genre “kids doing superspy stuff” is. The ones that I think of, Spy Kids, “Kim Possible”, and Agent Cody Banks, are all early 2000s, but it seems to have come back recently with My Spy, and I know there are other notable examples from before the 90s, so I’m not sure if it’s an evergreen movie subject or if this is very late to cash in on some successful franchises.