Catch That Kid

Bomb Rating: 

Short of filling popcorn bags with gerbil feces, I can't think of a way theaters could insult filmgoers more.

Short of filling the popcorn bags with gerbil feces, I can't think of a way theaters could insult filmgoers more, particularly kids, than by showing this film. It's one of those awful films in which every cinematic cliché and preposterous situation is used precisely because the filmmakers believe that kids are too stupid to know the difference.

Did I not just write recently about the absence of competent security guards in movies? Yet again, we have an entire plot predicated on the complete and utter incompetence of two security guards.

See, in this film, three kids plan to rob a bank so they can pay for an operation that will supposedly cure Maddy's (Kristen Stewart) father of his sudden paralysis. Along with Maddy, who's a climber, is Gus (Max Thieriot), who builds stuff, and Austin (Corbin Bleu), the requisite computer whiz. They plan to rob the bank where Maddy's mother (Jennifer Beals) works because she's installing a security system that isn't quite finished yet.

Director Bart Freundlich doesn't make even the slightest attempt to render any of this believable. Among my many pet peeves, I feel compelled to note that Maddy's mom drives a $500 Volvo. If your job is to install a multi-million dollar security system in a huge bank, you can probably afford to get a decent car. As a matter of fact, I bet you can actually qualify for the $250,000 loan that is needed for your husband's surgery. But I digress.

The film starts with Maddy climbing up a water tower. Much like "Cliffhanger," her carabineers snap and she goes falling off the tower. Can you imagine how many climbing deaths we'd have every year if those things routinely couldn't hold a 100lb. girl up in the air for a few hours? Pretty much every plot turn is advanced in this way. If the filmmakers need to go somewhere, they just pick the most convenient and least believable device to make it happen.

To complicate matters during the robbery, Maddy brings along her infant brother who, according to Maddy, "hasn't made a sound in his whole life." Um, guess who makes a noise suddenly. Before she goes on this heist, which requires her to make a dangerous climb up to the vault, which is suspended in mid-air, her paralyzed father tells her a story about how he was making a climb and his gear suddenly stuck, forcing him to free climb. Guess what happens to Maddy? It probably won't surprise anyone to know that the vault requires a code. Since her mother put in the vault, Maddy starts putting in various names her mother might use. Then she remembers her mother saying, "I think about you every day", puts in her own name, and it works! Hmmm, I think using your own daughter's name as the password for a bank vault holding millions of dollars gets you automatically kicked out of the Society of Competent Bank Vault Installers. And go-carts figure prominently in the movie. As the kids ride away from the police, the police are about to catch them when, on a dark avenue with no cars visible anywhere, a semi-truck pulls out of nowhere allowing the kids to drive under it while the cop cars are left in the dust. Pardon me, but that's the kind of scene that gets one kicked out of film school at Buttlick Community College.

Personally, my favorite stupid moment was when the kids, carrying the $250,000 they've stolen from the bank, rush into Maddy's father's room and begin wheeling his bed out, shouting stuff like "Let's go!" Since the only hospital in the world which performs the operation Pop needs is Danish, I couldn't figure out where anybody thought they were going. Can you just roll your paralyzed father up to the ticket counter at the airport on his gurney and get a special rate? It also didn't seem to me that they factored the cost of four international plane tickets into their robbery plans, so I was sad I missed the scene where they handed over $246,000 to the Danish doctors who then demanded another 4k before they did a damn thing.

This movie was basically worse-than-usual, let's-treat-kids-like-complete-morons crap.

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