"Getting in Touch With Your Outer Child"
What You Need To Know:
DISNEY’S THE KID is a funny, fluffy and moral feel-good movie with very little objectionable content. Rated PG for some mild foul language, this is a skillfully written, refreshing movie that manages to overcome its reliance on psychological solutions to life’s problems. The discerning viewer who understands the movie’s minor flaws, and can put up with some implausible situations, will enjoy it, so long as he or she remembers that Jesus Christ is our real hope and salvation
(BB, Pa, L, V, A, D, M) Moral worldview with many moral elements including personal transformation, kindness & generosity slightly marred by psychological salvation message & unexplained fantasy elements; 4 mild obscenities, 3 exclamatory appeals to God, & many unkind & even abusive statements by the lead character; school yard fight, boxing practice & other minor violence; some alcohol; anti-depressant drug; and, lying, cheating & meanness rebuked.
DISNEY’S THE KID is the story of Russ Duritz (Bruce Willis), an ambitious and brutal image consultant who experiences a strange midlife crisis. Russ has dedicated his life to success, coupled with a firm desire to avoid his family and his past at any cost.
One night, when driving home, Russ sees a young boy running by his driveway, and becomes suspicious and upset about the state of his security system. Later on that night, some more rustling awakens Russ, and he finally sees a young boy whom he chases to the local airport.
Russ thinks he’s experiencing hallucinations and goes to a psychiatrist to help deal with his problems. Not even powerful medication can make the next recurrence of the little boy go away.
At this juncture, Russ learns that the little boy is he himself at age 8. Rusty (Spencer Breslin) is somehow transported to the here and now to remind him of his past so that he can learn to be a nicer person. In other words, Rusty is Russ’s inner child come out.
Russ is deeply disappointed by the child he once was: fat, dull and with a lisp. Interestingly enough, though, it is Rusty (the child) who is more disappointed by the person he has become – a man who lives alone without a wife, family or even a dog, and has failed to become a pilot, as per Rusty’s wishes. Thus, Rusty tells Russ that Russ the image consultant is a loser who helps people learn to lie about themselves so they can pretend they’re somebody they’re not.
Ultimately, Russ and Rusty find a way to solve the timeline dilemma. Russ will help Rusty prepare for a schoolyard battle he experienced on his eighth birthday against the local bully and change the course of his life. This situation turns out not to be the solution, however. Only after much prodding does Russ realize the boy is there to help him (not the other way around) and understands what he must do – change his ways, refocus his life, marry his girlfriend, and purchase a dog.
DISNEY’S THE KID is a funny, fluffy and moral feel-good movie with very little objectionable content. It does, however, stress psychology as a solution to life’s problems a bit too much. Thus, it has psyche, but no soul – and the psychiatrist is the surrogate priest.
The story, in fact, is a psychological morality tale of a baby boomer’s midlife crisis, Hollywood style. Russ Duritz is a man who has spent his life alienating people in the pursuit of success; a man who has spent his life counseling others on their image as he has so skillfully altered his own. When he reaches his 40th birthday, he realizes he must get in touch with his inner child, very literally, to make his life worthwhile.
As Christians, this kind of solution doesn’t fly, for the real solution to Russ’ problems can be found only in Jesus Christ. The discerning viewer who understands this minor flaw, and can put up with some implausible situations, will enjoy this skillfully written, refreshing movie.
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