Catch That Kid (review)

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It’s almost identical, in terms of plot and character, to the delightful Danish film it’s a remake of, so why does it fall flat and leave a slightly greasy aftertaste? Maybe it’s because going Hollywood lends this silly tale of kids pulling off a heist a kind of stamp of approval for its felonious youngsters. Bright and fluffy where its inspiration was more somber, this is an action-comedy that lives in the same world as TV sitcoms, where grownups are always stupid and kids always know-it-all smart. Twelve-year-old Maddy (Kristen Stewart: Cold Creek Manor) and her pals Austin (Corbin Bleu: Galaxy Quest) and Gus (Max Thieriot) plan to knock over a bank in order to raise the money her dad (Sam Robards: Life as a House) needs for life-saving experimental surgery, but they have a far easier time of it than their Danish counterparts did — American kids are just smarter, I guess, and American adults stupider — and where the original flick had an air of such cheeky improbability about it that you couldn’t actually take it as realistic, this one combines the standard Hollywood requisites for “family” films — fart jokes and cartoonish violence — with a frantic desire to be seen as grounded and with Something To Say about the perpetual war between children and parents. Can’t anything just be simple and fun anymore?

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