CATCH THAT KID
Twelve year old Maddy (Kristen Stewart) is mad about climbing and idolises her mountain climber father (Sam Robards), who was seriously injured in a climbing accident. Together with her friends Austin (Corbin Bleu) who is a computer whiz-kid, and Gus (Max Thieriot) a mechanical whiz, Maddy plans a heist to steal $250,000 to pay for her father's medical bills. The plan is to crack through the security system that her mother Molly (Jennifer Beals) has devised for the bank, and climb to the vault suspended 100 feet above the ground.
Review by Louise Keller:
A heist movie for kids, Catch That Kid is good fun for pre-teens. The premise is like something out of Mission Impossible, while the execution is as complex as Ocean's Eleven. It may not be as slick as Agent Cody Banks, but there is plenty of heart in this action adventure remake of the Danish film KlatretÝsen, that became one of the country's most successful films in 2002, after winning the prestigious Glass Bear Special Mention Award at the 2002 Berlin International Film Festival.
At the film's heart lies the relationship between Maddy and her father, who she idolises. She wants to be like him and become a mountain climber, and spends every moment of her spare time practising her climbing skills on the local giant water-tank. It takes team work to execute a plan as complex as the one Maddy hatches to get the money for her father's medical treatment, and getting her two best friends to agree to help is harder than she imagines. When Maddy realises that both Corbin and Max have a big crush on her, she plays smart, and the vying for her heart by the two boys, charming.
Excellent performances from the three young central characters, and 13 year old Kristen Stewart (impressive in The Panic Room with Jodie Foster), has a gutsy determination that is most appealing. Although the roles of the parents, played by Jennifer Beals and Sam Robard are not greatly developed, we get a clear sense of their relationship with Maddy, and the film's resolution is nicely handled, and comes as a pleasant surprise.
Bart Freundlich's decision to make all the peripheral characters caricatures works to a point, although some of the scenes when the security guards are goofing around are overdone, and some of the tension surrounding the security is lost. I like John Carroll Lynch's bank manager, who thinks he's Robert DeNiro, and the scene when the kids get him to 'star' in their home movie is inspired.
My favourite plot element is the inclusion of Maddy's baby brother Max. This adorable fair-haired cherubic infant (who wins the prize for best behaved tot), is dragged along to the heist when Maddy can't get out of babysitting him. The threesome (with baby in tow) look so cool, as they arrive for the soiree in black tie (baby too!), and believe it or not, baby Max is there for the whole escapade.
A toe-tapping soundtrack, a thrilling go-cart chase sequence (with police cars and helicopters in pursuit) and the heist itself, which is executed with great panache - there's plenty of tension, humour and a reminder of the importance of friends and family.
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CATCH THAT KID (PG)
CAST: Kristen Stewart, Corbin Bleu, Max Thieriot, Jennifer Beals, Sam Robards
DIRECTOR: Bart Freundlich
SCRIPT: Michael Brandt, Derek Haas (based on film KlatretÝsen by Nicolaj Arcel, Hans Fabian Wullenweber, Erlend Loe)
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Julio Macat
EDITOR: Stuart Levy
MUSIC: George S. Clinton
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Tom Meyer
RUNNING TIME: 93 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Fox
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 8, 2004
VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Fox Entertainment
VIDEO RELEASE: July 7, 2004