The infamous Red Baron, featured in Roger Corman’s 1971 “Von Richtofen and Brown” returns as a lethal toy, a sort of cousin to Chucky in “Child’s Play,” in this underwhelming effort from Concorde. Target audience of pre-pubescent males would do better to hunt for the original on vid shelves.
Pic opens with scene of an air battle over France in 1918 in which Spencer (not Brown) downs the Baron, then segues to present-day California where Spencer’s grandson, Jimmy (Tobey Maguire), is in trouble at school and is suspended for a week. His divorced mom (Laraine Newman) sends him off to the country to bond with his surly father (Cliff De Young) and almost senile granddad (Mickey Rooney, playing most of his nothing role in a wheelchair).
Granddad proudly shows the boy remote control model planes patterned on his own aircraft and that of the Baron’s, and while playing with these devices a flash of lightning reactivates the Baron, who manages to get some bullets for his tiny machine guns and starts killing people while at the same time spouting a string of truly excruciating puns:”Your security’s full of holes,” after blasting asecurity guard, is a reasonable sample.
This is a distinctly unexciting vehicle, handled without imagination and with a totally unthreatening villain in the doll-like Baron. It has little or no chance of theatrical exposure, and will be a modest video attraction.
Tech credits are on the cheesy side.