When feeding very small children, its important to keep the fare bland so as not to upset the little ones tummies. And thus is it with CATCH THAT KID, a trite and uninspired remake of a Danish blockbuster that features parents in trouble and kids saving the day.
The parents are Molly (Jennifer Beals), a security consultant, and Tom (Sam Robards), a mountain climber and go-cart track owner. Things start going downhill for the grown-ups when mom misses the installation deadline for the spiffy new security system in the local bank and dad has suddenly become a paraplegic as a result of the injury he sustained years ago scaling Mt. Everest. There is an operation that might be able to cure dad, but it can only be done in Denmark and its experimental, meaning that insurance wont pay for it and, of course, the family has no money for it. The flinty bank president (Michael Des Barres) wont help because of that missed deadline, so its up to twelve-year-old daughter Maddy (Kristen Stewart), a budding mountaineer herself, to save the family. Her plan, knock over the bank moms in charge of making secure and get Dad to Denmark on the first plane out.
Shell have help in the persons of Gus (Max Theriot) the gadget guy, and Austin (Corbin Bleu) the computer nerd, who are both madly in love with her in a chaste, pre-pubescent sort of way. And shell have hindrance in the person of a dim but gung-ho security chief (James LeGros) and his intern, Gus distinctly unpleasant older brother, Chad. So what if the bank building is riddled with motion sensors and cameras? So what if the halls are patrolled by vicious Rottweilers? So what if the vault is suspended 100 feet in the air with no access? So what if its never explained how authorized people are supposed to access the vault way up there? The makers of this film obviously didnt think much past the cool 3-D hologram projections the kids use to plan their assault on the bank or the go-carts that they use to zip through traffic late at night. In short, they didnt think much about much of anything.
This is a lame exercise even for a formula flick. Not witty enough to be a comedy and not well-plotted enough to be taken seriously, with flat performances and lackluster direction, its a serious yawner remarkable only, and not in a good way, for LeGros and his artistic choices. In a criminally prosecutable performance, he boldy goes beyond ham and then beyond camp with a boneheaded performance overplaying every moment on screen in ways that redefine excruciating. How he manages to miss every chance for a laugh or even a smile given the amount of physical humor he is permitted is something that defies reason and yet there it is.
CATCH THAT KID exemplifies all that is most wrong with kids films, no smarts, lots of corn, and an attitude that any humor more sophisticated than a fart or a billy club to the groin would fly over the sea of kiddy heads. Maybe it’s much funnier in Danish. No matter. Instead of wasting your time and money on this dreck, rent the best of Bugs Bunny or Rocky and Bullwinkle. Itll keep the adults amused and give the kids a chance to see what real humor is all about.