Catch That Kid (1/10)
2004 by Tony Medley
I repeat, never shall I portray crime other than clothed in the colors
of hell. I wish people to see crime laid bare, I want them to fear and
detest it, and I know no other way to achieve this end than to paint
it in all its horrors. Woe to those who surround it with roses! Their
views are far less pure, and I shall never emulate them.
The Marquis de Sade - Reflections on the Novel
Even though this
film contains no nudity, no profanity and not much violence, it is
insidiously repugnant. The filmmaking is seductive because it’s so appealing,
especially to children, which hides the despicable values it advocates.
First, the story.
Maddy (Kristen Stewart) is a 12 year-old fledgling mountain climber who
practices her climbing in defiance of her mother’s orders not to. Her
father, Tom (Sam Robards), needs an operation that costs $250,000. Her
mother, Molly (Jennifer Beals) is a security consultant designing a
security system for Harderbach Financial Bank. The bank’s president is
set up as an unreasonable ogre, so when he rejects Molly’s request for
an unsecured $250,000 loan, the audience feels he’s being cruel and
unreasonable. As a result, Maddy decides to rob the bank to get the
money. In order to enlist her two boy friends in her scheme, she tells
each, separately, that she loves him, and only him, so each agrees to
help her. The mountain climbing skills she’s been practicing against
her mother’s wishes are essential to her scheme.
Why is this morally
contemptible when it’s directed at impressionable children? Let me
count the reasons:
Maddy disobeys her mother and continues to practice climbing, she
develops the skills that enable her to rob the bank to get the money
to save her father. Conclusion? Your mother doesn’t know best, so
don’t pay any attention to her; instead do what you want.
are not charities. They do not loan money on an unsecured basis to
needy people for operations to save lives. No bank in the world
would have granted a loan to Molly for her husband’s surgery. But
because the bank president is defined early in the film as a cruel
monster, he’s made to seem unreasonable, so Maddy’s idea to rob
the bank seems justified.
children are shown in a sexual context.
lies to both of her male good friends and uses her sex as a tool,
making it look like this is the way all women should act to
manipulate men to do their will. It works in the film and it’s
made to look appropriate, so the little girls in the audience will
be influenced that the use of their sex as a tool is proper, and
that this is an acceptable way to treat men.
of Maddy’s dishonesty and manipulation, the little boys in the
audience are shown that women are not to be trusted, no matter how
honest they look when they profess their love. They’ll think,
“What’s she up to?”
if that’s not enough, Maddy’s effort to rob the bank is
glorified, has no deleterious consequence and is, in fact enormously
lies to keep Maddy from being prosecuted.
are marginalized throughout this movie. The bank president is a bad
guy. His assistant is a buffoon. The two security guards are
basically lunatics. Maddy’s two boy friends are manipulated like
they’re on the end of a string on Maddy’s finger. Tom, Maddy’s
father, is apparently without assets and is flat on his back and
helpless throughout the movie. The male cops can’t catch two
little 12 year-olds on go-carts. The only people shown as admirable
(and I use that word advisedly) in the movie are Molly and Maddy.
There are no women with character flaws in the film (unless you
recognize that Molly is a liar and that Maddy is a lying thief,
which is hard for a preteen to recognize the way the story’s
clear moral of the film is that the end justifies the means.
If I had preteen
children, I’d rather take them to see Meg Ryan parade nude and hear
all the profanity in In the Cut than expose them to this
morally degenerate film.
February 1, 2004