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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Movie Review # 137 Ransom of Red Chief (1998)

Release: 1998
Director: Bob Clark
Writer(s): O. Henry, Ed Naha
Cast: Haley Joe Osment, Christopher Lloyd, Michael Jeter, Alan Ruck

Rotten Tomatoes: 42% Audience Fresh
IMDb: 5.8/10
Netflix: 3.2 Stars

Every movie has a origin and this one takes us back to the short story written in 1910 by O. Henry otherwise known as William Sydney Porter. Who was a colorful and well published author for his times. With this being his most famous story and most used in modern film. As it is the story of a spoiled brat who get's either kidnapped or is neglected and how he/she becomes friends with the kidnappers or as in the movie the toy with Richard Pryor.

He is selected to be a toy and is abused by the tyrant of a child. Till he ultimately becomes friends with him. Which is prevalent here as well. But in role reversal as the kid is the one kidnapped and abuses his captors. Which is enjoyable to a fault as it keeps alive a tradition of movie magic that has thrived for years. It also proves another thing simple stories can carry a movie and make you laugh and feel good at the end.

Which this movie does fully and thoughtfully despite its overly goofy ending and great escape moments. All of which are straight out slapstick. That not only falls into the lead actors (Christopher Lloyd and Michael Jeter) forte both of whom have a strong comedic background. It also shows that Haley Joel Osment was a star in the making as he showcased an amazing stage presence through out the movie. That was well beyond his years.

Seeing Haley in this movie and comparing it to his major blockbusters. Is not a night and day proposition. It is clearly there to be seen. As his acting is not only wonderful and charming. It is straight up amazing to boot. Which just over states the fact that he was a meant to be a star and this movie showcased it. Now if you are looking for a family friendly enjoyable movie.

This movie is perfect for you especially if your family is into the Old West. That or just need a fun diversion from modern movies of blowing things up and potty humor as this movie sticks to a clean slapstick nature that is fun and entertaining. Yet never insulting. Which in my book makes it a perfect movie for both parents and children alike and gets my seal of approval.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Trailer not found.

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