Getting in touch with the inner child
The Kid
Review by Ross Anthony

A single prop, fire engine red biplane dive-bombs into the life of Russell Duritz (Bruce Willis). He's a high powered, self-confidant, expensive suit wearing, image consultant for the stars and politicians; but he's a jerk. At least that's what his assistant, Amy, thinks of him (when she's not falling in love with him). "We can't go around anymore talking about what we're going to be like when we grow up - we are up!"

On the outside, he's completely smooth, rock solid and successful, but his inner child is so abused, we'll lets just say a real lively taste of his childhood drops by for a visit. "I don't have time to go crazy. If you want me to go crazy you'll just have to get on the phone with Janet and schedule an appointment!"

It's a wonderful premise, charming, magical, endearing -- Bruce and "the Kid" are equally so; but there are a few tweaks left untweaked - mostly in conducting. A film is like a symphony - it's intensity and dynamics need to be carefully controlled. Appropriately held back after the first act, this film longed to rock and roll in the third, but it didn't quite bust out. This could have been remedied by reducing the length of the segment where Bruce and kid are trying to figure out what to do with each other, make a quicker run to the climax - beefing up the peak, then extending the resolution to include family relationships etc.

The film never quite sold the fact that Bruce was a jerk/loser in need of a supernatural visitation. In fact, I found his cut-to-the-chase, brutally honest personality quite refreshing. Yes, he was no saint, but neither the Scrooge character we'd expect to be crying for inexplicable intervention.

Even with this error, the film is still delightful. It's clean, polished, seeded well with juicy funny lines and solid talent. Lily Tomlin is smashing as Bruce's eye-rolling secretary. I enjoyed the red paint motif and slick opening sequence. A very strong B+, but it's more of an adult movie which kids might like, than visa versa.

  • The Kid. Copyright © 2000. Rated PG.
  • Starring Bruce Willis, Spencer Breslin, Emily Mortimer, Lily Tomlin, Jean Smart, Chi McBride.
  • Directed by John Turteltaub
  • Written by Audrey Wells
  • Produced by Jon Turtletaub, Christina Steinberg, Hunt Lowry at Disney/Junction ent.


Copyright © 2000. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:06:17 PDT