After an eight-year hiatus, Robert Rodriguez is returning to the world of pint-sized espionage with Spy Kids: All the Time in the World – the fourth entry in the popular Spy Kids series, which  serves as both a sequel and the beginning of a brand new chapter.

Rebecca (Rowan Blanchard) and Cecil (Mason Cook) are the new faces of the franchise and the story kicks into gear once they discover that their stepmother (Jessica Alba) is a former spy who’s been called back into action. Armed with an array of high-tech gadgets and a robotic talking dog (voiced by Ricky Gervais), the siblings take on a nefarious villain called The Timekeeper (Jeremy Piven). Joel McHale, Danny Trejo, Tony Shalhoub, Antonio Banderas, and original Spy Kids Alexa Vega & Daryl Sabara co-star.

The first trailer for All the Time in the World featured many of the same trappings that helped make the original film so endearing, and it made its intentions pretty clear – this installment seems to be less about breaking new ground and more about introducing a new generation of kids to this series.

The promotional campaign has emphasized that the film will be in 4D, but until now there hasn’t been any explanation regarding exactly what that means. Given that Rodriguez was an early supporter of bringing 3D technology back into movies (as evidenced by the previous sequel, Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over), it should come as no surprise that he’s now embracing another gimmick that filmmakers used to employ to drive up attendance.

Evidently, your sense of smell now counts as a dimension since it was announced today that 4D refers to “Aromascope”.  Strip away the fancy label and it sounds like it’s essentially just a scratch & sniff card that attendees will be handed as they enter the theater. Spy Kids: All the Time in the World will feature eight scenes where fans have the opportunity to immerse themselves even further in the action.  A number will flash on the screen and simply scratch the corresponding spot on your card. There will be no extra charge for Aromascope and it will be available with both the 2D and 3D versions of the film.

Dimension Films also released the final theatrical one-sheet for Spy Kids: All the Time in the World as well as four new character posters. Check them out below:

The whole Aromascope thing might sound a bit silly to many of us, but it’s important to remember who the target demographic is. Having numbers randomly flashing on the screen seems like a surefire way to take most people right out of the film, but kids will probably get a kick out of having another way to interact with the movie.

Fans that grew up with the first three Spy Kids movies may have outgrown this series, but there’s a sincerity to Rodriguez’s approach to this material that can’t be faked. The first two sequels never seemed quite as focused, but if All the Time in the World feels as genuine and cohesive as the original, we may soon have a whole new group of Spy Kids fans.

Spy Kids: All the Time in the World hits theaters on August 19.

Source: Dimension Films.