1 item from 2004
Friday, Feb. 6
With its athletic 12-year-old female lead, Catch That Kid is an action romp with heart. If that heart is somewhat misguided, it's hard to deny the family-friendly thrills and spills along the way.
A low-wattage cast helps conjure resemblance to a video game masquerading as a theatrical release (the character names of the three young leads even flash onscreen when each is introduced). The film, from prolific producer Andrew Lazar (Space Cowboys, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind), looks to have more of a future as a home rental than catch fire at the boxoffice.
The movie is a remake of the 2002 popular Danish film Klatretosen. In view of the success of the Spy Kids franchise, American youngsters may enjoy this heist story in which the three preteen leads are rarely offscreen. Most intriguing of all is fact that the director of this broadly comedic CGI caper is indie filmmaker Bart Freundlich (The Myth of Fingerprints, World Traveler).
Maddy (Kristen Stewart) and her 2-year-old brother, Max, have a busy security-consultant mom (Jennifer Beals) and a loving dad (Sam Robards), the owner of a popular go-kart track. Dad once climbed Mount Everest, but he discourages his own daughter's dangerous zeal for rock climbing. When he suffers a medical trauma that necessitates coming up with $250,000 for an operation in Copenhagen, Maddy opts to rob the high-security vault in the monolithic Harderbach Bank headquarters -- her mother's current client. Maddy and her two best friends -- and prepubescent romantic rivals -- Austin (Corbin Bleu) and Gus (Max Thieriot) do their homework and case the joint.
Thanks to Maddy's agility, reaching the 100-foot-high (!) state-of-the-art tower vault is a no-brainer. Austin is a videographer and, apparently, a Silicon Valley-caliber computer genius, while Gus knows his way around mechanical engineering from the hours spent in the pit at the go-kart track. The combined high-tech skills of our young heroes and the bank's security measures provide some sharp visual effects during the elaborate heist.
The less said about the acting the better, though Stewart (Panic Room) is earnest in the lead. (Between the confined set of the Jodie Foster thriller and the vault here, Stewart must be Hollywood's go-to teen actress for scripts featuring "safe rooms.")
Also in support are an over-the-top Michael Des Barres (channeling Terence Stamp) as the dastardly bank president and John Carroll Lynch (channeling Robert De Niro), as a sympathetic executive whose lifelong dream is to be a method actor. Stark Sands is Chad, a bank security intern -- and Gus' obnoxious older brother -- who helps keep an eye on the video monitors and the attack dogs. Chad's boss is played by Freundlich regular James Le Gros, who seems to be giddily overacting in his own personal movie.
Catch That Kid may captivate very young audiences but more for its cartoonish storytelling than any high quality of production.
CATCH THAT KID
20th Century Fox
Fox 2000 Pictures
Mediastream III presents a Mad Chance/Nimbus Film production
Director: Bart Freundlich
Screenwriters: Michael Brandt, Derek Haas
Based on the film Klatretosen written by: Nikolaj Arcel, Hans Fabian Wullenwebe, Erlend Loe
Producer: Andrew Lazar
Executive producers: Damien Saccani, James Dodson, Mikkel Bondesen
Director of photography: Julio Macat
Production designer: Tom Meyer
Costume Designer: Salvador Perez
Co-producers: Gym Hinderer, Jeff Graup
Music by: George S. Clinton
Editor: Stuart Levy
Maddy: Kristen Stewart
Austin: Corbin Bleu
Gus: Max Thieriot
Molly: Jennifer Beals
Tom: Sam Robards
Mr. Hartmann: John Carroll Lynch
Ferrell: James Le Gros
Brisbane: Michael Des Barres
Chad: Stark Sands
Running time -- 91 minutes
MPAA rating: PG »
1 item from 2004
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