R, 1 hr. 33 min. Directed By: Michael Morrissey. Release Date: Oct 21, 2011. DVD Release Date: Nov 8, 2011.
There’s a lot of mixed press out there about Boy Wonder. I, for one, was surprised that no one made the comparison with Batman, because, at its very basic features, there are quite a few elements of the tale that the two characters have in common. We’re looking at a boy who’s driven to violence because of the death of a parent. This boy isn’t wealthy, but he does have talents and abilities that would be abnormal for a boy of his age and with his background. He also has quite a few decent ninja skillz… or a healthy case of sheer dumb luck, either way.
There are other similarities, but mostly in the details: the background of both stories is dark and gritty, and unlike the original Batman movies, there are no cartoony details to keep you from experiencing a small portion of this boy’s pretty gruesome reality. Also like the Caped Crusader, you’re not really surprised he’s a little off his rocker, and you might actually be surprised how little he’s fallen from the mental center line. I know I was. But then, I was also kind of rooting for him by the end of the movie. I’ve talked about how much I like the idea of a serial killer who preys only on other serial killers, but I have a less structured view of the vigilante.
On the one hand, if the vigilante is focused, and keeps his vengeance only on those who have earned it, I don’t have any problem with the concept. At this point in our social development, I think most of us realize that the American justice system helps the criminals nearly as much as it helps the victims, so I sympathize on those victims that don’t get justice. But, when the vigilante loses his or her mind and starts wreaking vengeance over everyone, I get much less sympathetic. And while I never quite fell off this guy’s bandwagon, he did lose his mind a little.
I saw lots of praise for the star’s acting ability. I wasn’t that impressed with Caleb Steinmeyer, but I do think that for a new, young actor, he did a fine job. I also thought that he was really the only member of the cast that I thought was worth paying attention to. The good news is that the story is engrossing enough that the bad performances aren’t really all that distracting. In the first twenty minutes I was sucked in to a world that had nothing to do with me and I stayed there for a very, very long time.
If you’re looking for something a little edgy, this is probably going to be a great choice for you to check out. I found this by trolling my way through the new options on Netflix for streaming, and my thought is that it’ll be around for a while.