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Unable to find work after a past felony, graduate John Wisdom and his girlfriend (Moore) embark on a cross-country bank-robbing spree in order to aid American farmers (Just call him Robin Hood).Written by
John N. Daily
The studio was concerned about Emilio Estevez's experience as a director. Thus, veteran filmmaker Robert Wise was hired to advise Estevez throughout the shoot; the former gained an Executive Producer credit for his services. See more »
[After robbing his first bank.]
Go! Go! Go! Go! GO!
What? What? What? WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING WITH THAT GUN?
I told you to wait, Karen! Where the hell were you?
I was hungry - I went to get some Tofutti.
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'Wisdom' is the rather mediocre directorial debut of actor Emilio Esteves who plays the outlaw twenty-three year old turned hero, Johnny Wisdom. Wisdom is a young kid with problems finding stable employment because he was convicted of a felony as a teenager. So, he figures that the only option he has left is to become a criminal. Only, he's not really sure what kind of criminal, so in the process of shopping for a cause, he decides to become a criminal "for the people, rather than against them." He comes to this conclusion after watching television and seeing--in those wonderful Reagan Years--numerous working people losing their jobs and the banks coming in to foreclose, especially the farmers. Wisdom becomes a hero to the people because, instead of robbing banks, the fugitive crosses the country with his girlfriend/accomplice (Demi Moore) destroying all of the mortgage records in the banks (you'd think that after the dangerous duo became highly publicized, the banks would've taken precaution and moved their records out of the bank). The people love him, but it won't last long, with a detective close on his trail. You should know how a movie like this ends if you've seen 'Falling Down,' 'Miles From Home,' 'Bonnie and Clyde' (though, they weren't really criminals for the people), or 'The Legend of Billie Jean' (though the hero in Billie Jean doesn't meet the same fate as Wisdom).
The movie labors on terribly for the first half hour, trying to make hero into some sort of confused kid. Although, he looks less like a decided avenger for the people and more like a kid who isn't too sure what he is getting himself into, or that he has the ability to deal with the consequences. I don't know that Esteves made an effective 'Wisdom' this point because while he had that sort of innocent good guy appeal, he never really looked like the kind of guy tough enough to carry out the "mission." And, as another viewer wrote, he was just too young looking for the part and the "adventure" plays out at many points like a teenage fantasy, especially when he and his girlfriend get their pictures in the paper. He seems like less and less of a hero as the movie progresses and more like just a naive kid (his girlfriend, too).
And, while there are many moments of comedic dialog, overall the dialog is quite cheesy, sprinkled with inappropriately timed confessions of 'I love you' from the girlfriend, or pretty much most of the dialog at the end. Esteves wrote a script that was peppered with a bit too much cheesiness (this was not his writing debut, since he wrote the screenplay to 'That Was Then, This is Now').
The only real bonus to the movie is the climactic car chase in which several cop cars get rudely drilled. I'll have to agree with the other viewer who wrote that, it is all downhill from here. You should know how it is going to end up anyways, by that point.
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