Review by Steve Rhodes|
1 star out of 4
In Bart Freundlich's CATCH THAT KID, three 12-year-olds, Maddy (Kristen
Stewart), Austin (Corbin Bleu) and Gus (Max Thieriot), commit a big crime
but for a good cause. They rob the bank where Maddy's mom (Jennifer Beals)
works as a security consultant so that her dad (Sam Robards), who once
climbed Mount Everest, can have the expensive operation that he needs in
order to recover the use of his legs.
The underwritten movie is low on energy and even lower on logic. A kids'
crime caper doesn't have to have this many needless logical flaws. Stewart,
the smart young actress from PANIC ROOM, is never believable as the
mastermind behind the heist who isn't intelligent enough to realize that, if
she comes home with a suitcase stuffed with cash, her parents will never let
her keep it. The implausibilities of the story go on and on. The bank
manager, for example, lets Maddy see the master security code for the entire
facility. And the overblown set decoration make the bank's ultra-high tech
interior look like the spitting image of the inside of the Death Star from
All of this could be forgiven if the film was funny, which it isn't. Our
screening, packed with kids of all ages, found very little to amuse them.
There are, however, many lines that are laughably bad. The script's low
point occurs when the bank's president (Michael Des Barres in bad imitation
of Terence Stamp) refuses to grant the $250,000 loan that Maddy's mother
needs for the big operation. "A bank has no heart -- only paper in its
vault," he tells her with a drop-dead sneer. This continues the long
tradition of film writers who fall back on the evil big businessman clich‚
when they get writer's block.
The movie does have one decent joke. When the kids set off the security
alarm during a fancy dress party at the bank, the female voice of the
security system announces on the overhead speakers, "Security breached. Do
something. Do something now. Anything."
The film's most perceptive line occurs towards the end when one of the
characters asks, "Are you buying any of this?" Absolutely not. Nor should
any kid or adult with at least half a brain.
CATCH THAT KID runs 1:34. It is rated PG for "some language, thematic
elements and rude humor" and would be acceptable for kids of all ages.
Copyright © 2004 Steve Rhodes