Catch That Kid (2004) – movie review

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Movie Review by Vivienne Messenger

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Corbin Bleu, Max Thieriot, Jennifer Beals, Sam Robards
Director: Bart Freundlich

An action adventure movie, MISSION WITHOUT PERMISSION tests the resolve of three friends – 12 year-old Maddy (Kristen Stewart), Austin (Corbin Bleu) and Gus (Max Thieriot) – who band together in a mission to raise $250 000 for Maddy’s father, Tom otherwise known as Mr P (Sam Robards). He faces a bleak future without the necessary but expensive hospital treatment which is only available from a European clinic when he suffers a relapse from a former climbing injury that leaves him paralyzed.

A resourceful girl, Maddy wastes no time in deciding which path she will choose when faced with the stark choice of either leaving her dad seriously ill in hospital or taking it upon herself to find the required money for his treatment when her mother (Jennifer Beals) runs out of other options.

Persuading her two best friends into helping her out, she hits on the idea of robbing Hardebach Financial, the bank where her mother (Molly Phillips) is working as a freelance security advisor and is installing a new high tech security system for them. Using her mother to gain access to sensitive and confidential information without her suspecting anything, she devises a plan with the help of Austin (a computer genius) and Gus (a mechanical whizz) to pull off a heist to coincide with the bank’s opening night reception hosted by a very obnoxious chief executive called Brisbane (Michael Des Barres) – personally responsible for denying Mrs Phillips a loan for her husband’s hospital treatment.

And then, all hell breaks loose as they put their plan into action…

This is an innovative and exciting movie packed with action and has several quite intense sequences which will have you holding your breathe and even though you know they will overcome all the challenges thrown their way, it’s the way they get to achieving the end result. The karting / police chase and breaking into the bank’s vault sequences are particularly tense and the director skilfully manages to keep the suspense up and keep it well paced. The acting from the three young lead actors is notably impressive and it’s nice to see Jennifer Beals again who leapt to fame with FLASHDANCE in 1983 and was also in the recent RUNAWAY JURY movie.

This DVD release will definitely be a hit with the kids and keep them thoroughly entertained as it will parents if they just let their imagination go and not pick to many holes in the plan that unfolds and the incredible luck that the film’s characters have as well as their sheer determination to see it through to the end.

4 out of 6 stars