The Kid


Directed by: Jon Turteltaub
Written by:Audrey Wells
Starring: Bruce Willis, Spencer Breslin, Emily Mortimer, Lily Tomlin, Chi McBride
Released: September 28, 2000
Grade: B

Bruce Willis’s career was on the crossroads in 1997.  Through 1994 to 1997, his major roles included North, Color Of Night, Last Man Standing, The Jackal and Mercury Rising.  In other words, he was struggling.  Willis was set to star in a big action film of 1998 but massive financial problems caused production to cease and the film was never finished.  To bail Willis out of jail, Buena Vista stepped in and offered him a deal.  They would pay his way out of the troubled film if he agreed to star in three of Buena Vista’s films.

The first film was Armageddon, which grossed $201m in the U.S.  They had made their money back and then some.  The second film was The Sixth Sense, which earned $293m and received 6 Academy Award nominations.  The final film was The Kid, which managed a not-so-sluggish $67m and capping off one of the best deals in Hollywood history.  Buena Vista made more than one billion dollars worldwide and Willis had his career back.

The Kid is simple family entertainment.  It’s the story of an image consultant, Russ Duritz, who is about to turn 40, is unmarried, and has few friends due to his grizzly nature.  Then in a bizarre twist of events, he finds an 8-year-old boy in his house that looks strangely familiar - it’s himself at age 8.  He’s definitely real but the question remains - what is he doing here?

Newcomer Spencer Breslin takes all the laughs from Willis but they make a funny duo.  The film is designed to have us reflect on our own childhoods and how much we miss them and wish we could return to them.  There are some touching tear-jerking moments near film’s end but not quite enough detail to carry the film for the full length.

Backed by a strong film score by Marc Shaiman, The Kid is a film that will provide entertainment for all ages.  Just don’t go expecting spiritual enlightenment.