×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Kids World

Charmless and exceptionally tasteless pre-teen time-filler, "Kids World" is the sort of movie that seems conceived more out of tax-credit incentives than from any real desire to engage children's imaginations. Pic is strictly for those families who find themselves sold-out of "Harry Potter" and, even then, why not go home and read a book?

With:
Leo - Christopher Lloyd
Ryan - Blake Foster
Twinkie - Michael Purvis
Stu - Anton Tennet
Detloff - Todd Emerson
Nicole - Olivia Tennet
Holly - Anna Wilson

Charmless and exceptionally tasteless pre-teen time-filler, “Kids World” is the sort of movie that seems conceived more out of tax-credit incentives than from any real desire to engage children’s imaginations. Pic is strictly for those families who find themselves sold-out of “Harry Potter” at the local multiplex and, even then, why not go home and read a book? The only notable element here is that pic has managed to get into theaters at all, finally opening on a few dozen screens in select cities this past Friday after missing a half-dozen previously scheduled dates. Bigscreen appearance will be fleeting before pic retreats to the dusty kids’ shelves at the local videostore.

Set in Oregon but, very conspicuously (largely due to the accents of most of the principal cast) shot in and around Auckland, New Zealand, pic opens on a trio of adolescent friends — Ryan (Blake Foster), Stu (Anton Tennet) and Twinkie (Michael Purvis) — as they are pursued by a maniacal bully, Detloff (Todd Emerson). Hiding from Detloff in the proverbial Indian Burial Ground, the kids discover an ancient “wishing glass” that can be used to grant the bearer whatever he desires. Late that night, Ryan wishes that all the adults and teenagers of the world would disappear.

Ryan’s primary motivations for this wish seem to be as follows: His parents make him eat his greens; they also make him wear his bicycle helmet; and his older brother teases him whenever he has the chance. Oh, the horror! It’s a slack setup, in which writer Michael Lach and director Dale G. Bradley recycle decades-old cliches about why kids don’t get along with their parents.

Then, once Ryan’s wish comes true, further moth-eaten ideas — this time, about what kids would do if they were suddenly turned loose on a parentless world — are hauled out of the wardrobe. Specifically, kids would consume massive amounts of junk food, drive their parents’ cars and trash their own homes, without taking a moment’s pause to contemplate how they can go on living an a world without adults.

That fear sets in only very late, after an accident involving Ryan’s baby sister (Olivia Tennet), at which point Ryan must face off against Detloff for possession of the wishing glass. By this point, Detloff has become a rogue militarist, having used the glass’ powers to give himself heavy artillery and an entire army of dronelike followers, all dressed to resemble Nazi youth.

There are long scenes of Detloff, in a tank, chasing Ryan and company around their “Oregon” suburb, blasting rounds of ammunition into conveniently unoccupied buildings. The point, amid all this unnecessary destruction, is that Detloff doesn’t care if the adults ever return, because his parents are always away on business anyway. And so, a message of “Spend more time with your kids” takes its heavy-handed place alongside the movie’s equally pedantic warnings of “Be careful what you wish for” and “Always eat your greens.”

Christopher Lloyd is in this movie, too, playing Leo, the mentally handicapped man next door, who doesn’t disappear with the rest of the adults because, mentally, he’s still a child. Maybe Lloyd wanted to take a trip Down Under, or maybe he owed somebody a favor, because there’s little other plausible explanation for the presence of this fine actor in this thankless role, which requires little of him, except to sit on a porch, playing a didgeridoo (another good hint that we’re not really in Oregon) until, in a few moments of convenient lucidity, he helps to save the day.

Tech credits are strictly serviceable.

Kids World

New Zealand

Production: A Daybreak Pacific Films, Blue Steel Releasing and VIF Prods. presentation. Produced by Grant Bradley, Tom Taylor. Executive producers, John Massam, Alex Krem, Devesh Chetty, Walter Josten, Wolfram Tichy. Directed by Dale G. Bradley. Screenplay, Michael Lach.

Crew: Camera (color), Neil Cervin; editor, Douglas Braddock; music, Bruce Lynch; production designer, Mark Robins; sound (Dolby), Rob Schreiber; associate producer, Jozseff Fityus; casting, Roe Baker. Reviewed at General Cinema Galleria, Redondo Beach, Dec. 7, 2001. MPAA Rating: PG. Running time: 96 MIN.

With: Leo - Christopher Lloyd
Ryan - Blake Foster
Twinkie - Michael Purvis
Stu - Anton Tennet
Detloff - Todd Emerson
Nicole - Olivia Tennet
Holly - Anna Wilson

More Film

  • Kevin Tsujihara

    Kevin Tsujihara's Ouster Kicks Off a Week of Major Disruption in the Media Business

    The sudden ouster of Warner Bros. Entertainment chief Kevin Tsujihara kicked off what is likely to go down as one of the most extraordinary weeks in Hollywood history, spelling enormous turmoil and transition across the media landscape. In addition to the news about Tsujihara, which comes amid a wider shake-up of leadership at AT&T’s WarnerMedia, [...]

  • Buddha in Africa

    More than Half of Films at Hot Docs Film Festival Are Directed By Women

    More than half of the films playing at Hot Docs, North America’s largest documentary festival, are directed by women, the Canadian event said Tuesday. The festival’s 26th edition, which runs April 25-May 5, will screen 234 films, with 54% of the directors being women. In the competitive International Spectrum program, notable films receiving their world [...]

  • Korean Distributors Fight for Box Office

    Korean Distributors Fight for Box Office Market Share

    Korean distributors are having to fight ever harder for their share of Korea’s theatrical market share. Threats on the horizon include a slide in the performance of local movies, consolidation, the arrival of new players and the challenge from streaming services. South Korea’s theatrical box office is now bigger than that of France or Germany despite [...]

  • Korean Distributors Learn to Downsize in

    Korean Distributors Learn to Downsize in Saturated Market

    In 2018, the Korean film business stumbled, as local films made with blockbuster budgets and targeting the usual high seasons of Chuseok and Christmas last year failed to deliver blockbuster earnings.  So Korean distributors have embraced some tactics to enhance their bottom lines.  Genre films “Monstrum,” “Fengshui,” “The Negotiation,” “Take Point,” “Swing Kids” and “Drug King” [...]

  • 'Boonie Bears' Creator Fantawild Producing 'Realm

    FilMart: 'Boonie Bears' Creator Fantawild Skews Older With 'Realm of Terracotta'

    Fantawild, the Chinese entertainment group behind the widely popular “Boonie Bears” animated franchise, is for the first time planning to target slightly older viewers with a new IP, “Realm of Terracotta.” Intended for teenagers, the adventure story is expected to hit theaters this summer. Fantawild has produced six “Boonie Bears” films in just seven years, [...]

  • Hong Kong Industry Executives Seek Clarity

    FilMart: Hong Kong Industry Executives Plead for Clarity on Mainland Chinese Tax Policies

    At a time of heightened scrutiny of tax affairs in China’s entertainment sector, even industry veterans in Hong Kong are struggling to figure out how to operate in the new financial environment and pleading for more clarity from the Chinese government. Hong Kong produces about 60 films a year, three-quarters of which are typically co-productions [...]

  • IQIYI Plans Summer Release for Animated

    IQIYI Plans Summer Release for Animated 'Spycies'

    IQIYI Motion Pictures, the film production and investment arm of Chinese streaming leader iQIYI, will release animated feature “Spycies” in China this summer, and overseas shortly afterwards. “Spycies” is a Sino-French co-production – a rarity as far as animated films are concerned – and the first animated film that iQIYI has co-produced with foreign filmmakers. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content