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Movie Reviews

Disney's The Kid  

Russ Doritz (Bruce Willis)
Rusty Doritz (Spencer Breslin)
Amy (Emily Mortimer) Janet (Lily Tomlin)
Deirdre (Jean Smart)

Directed by Jon Turtletaub Written by Audrey Wells
Rated PG for mild language Running Time: 101 minutes Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures

Disney's The Kid is an enjoyable family film. Russ Duritz (Willis) is a successful "image consultant" that lives in Los Angeles. He is hot-tempered, cocky and isolated. Russ finds his life turned upside down when he magically meets Rusty (Breslin)-himself as an 8-year old child. Rusty is a sweet, but slightly geeky and pudgy little kid, who is not at all happy with whom he turns out to be--a 40-year-old "loser" without a wife or a dog. Ironically, the kid helps Russ to learn about himself and remember his dreams; in order to become the grown up he wants to be. Disney's The Kid is a good little movie that has heart, depth and good acting. The film is in some sense a blend between Big and Back to the Future.

Audrey Wells wrote the script and her overall story works. The characters are terrific and the dialogue is stable. The symbolism Wells uses with an old diner and a red airplane does take a while to connect. However, The diner and airplane become very important representation of Russ and Rusty's character and depth. The aspect of having an 8-year-old of Russ' self appear to him when he is 40, works a lot better than it would seem. Wells takes the ample amount of time needed to explain the magical experience that each goes through. Russ and Rusty each have similar and different characteristics between, which also works well with the two characters' relationship and chemistry. The overall result of Wells' script is a pretty good family drama.

Director Jon Turtletaub does a good job of directing Disney's The Kid. This movie could have really been crippled if the direction would not have stuck to the script. However, Turtletaub's film flows smoothly, and he also creates a simple atmosphere about the human spirit. Turtletaub previously directed another human sprit film, Phenomenon, which also had a sort of magical touch in it. As he did with Phenomenon, Turtletaub pulls the audience close to the characters and relationships in the film.

Bruce Willis does a credible job as the self-centered image consultant, Russ. Willis has been doing a different range of films lately, and his performance in this film is a lot better than his last one in The Whole Nine Yards. Willis plays a real jerk, whose life begins to change when he relives his past. He blends nice comedy with patient drama to contribute to his role as Russ. Spencer Breslin breaks through as a child actor with his believable performance as Rusty. Breslin's facial expressions and movement contribute to molding his character. Lastly, Lily Tomlin is also hysterical as Russ' sarcastic and dedicated secretary. I have always like Tomlin since I first saw her in 9 to 5 when I was a child. It is good to see her back in a comedy.

Disney's The Kid isn't anything spectacular, but it is a good little movie. It will be an enjoyment for kids and adults. The film's warming message shouldn't have a problem finding an audience and making this film a sleeper hit.

Report Card Grade: B-

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