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Laramie Movie Scope:
Catch That Kid

A mediocre kid action movie

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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August 15, 2004 -- “Catch That Kid” is an attempt at a “Mission Impossible” type of movie starring kids, but done on the cheap with a no-name cast and a shoddy screenplay. It's not a bad movie, but it isn't good either, neither is it slick, clever, engaging, exciting or compelling. Wait for the video, and don't spend a lot on that, either.

The film, a remake of the popular Danish film “Klatretøsen,” has a 12-year-old girl trying to rob a bank to get enough money to pay for an operation which will enable her paralyzed father to walk again. The girl, Maddy (played by Kristen Stewart of “Cold Creek Manor”), talks two of her friends into helping her rob the bank. Her friends, Austin (Corbin Bleu) and Gus (Max Thieriot) bring traditional youngster skills to the job. While Maddy is a skilled mountain climber, one of her friends is a computer whiz and the other, a skilled go-kart driver (the getaway cars are go-karts since none of the kids is old enough to get a driver's license).

Maddy has an inside track on how to get past the bank's security system. Her mother designed the security system, and keeps all the security information on her notebook computer which she conveniently leaves laying around the house. Not everything goes smoothly, however. Gus and Austin both have romantic designs on Maddy and their jealousy threatens to split up the team. Maddy cleverly uses sexual politics to string them both along until the job is finished. Her manipulation of the two boys is ruthless and calculated. It is a case of the end justifying the means. She also employs the suggested promise of sex against one of the bank guards in the film. She also charms one of the bank's managers, Hartmann (John Carroll Lynch) and abuses his trust as well as her mother's. She seems to be a vamp in training. The story spends no time at all considering the moral implications of these manipulations, or of stealing money. It also fails to take more than a cursory look at the shortcomings of the health care system that led to the problem in the first place.

The characterizations in the film are pretty thin, as you would expect in this type of juvenile film. Most of the adults and some of the kids in the film are foolish or mean-spirited or both. Maddy's parents come off as decent adults, however, as does Hartmann. Maddy's mother is played by none other than that old “Flashdance” star Jennifer Beals. The paralyzed father is played by Sam Robards of “Life as a House.” The acting is O.K., but the plot is lame and predictable. The action sequences are mediocre. For a caper film, it lacks the energy and punch needed to draw in the audience. Neither the planning of the heist, nor its execution is done with the skill needed to be compelling. For an action movie, this is pretty limp stuff. This film rates a C.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in video and/or DVD format, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2004 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)