Masterminds

  • 1997
  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • Action, Adventure, Crime

Why are heavyweight talents like Patrick Stewart and Brenda Fricker messing about in a kiddie film like this? To quote Stewart's security expert turned high-tech kidnapper, Ralph Bentley, "Why does anybody do anything in this country? For the money." Well, there you have it. Bentley's get-rich-quick scheme involves taking over tony Shady Glen prep school,...read more

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Reviewed by Sandra Contreras
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Why are heavyweight talents like Patrick Stewart and Brenda Fricker messing about in a kiddie film like this? To quote Stewart's security expert turned high-tech kidnapper, Ralph Bentley, "Why does anybody do anything in this country? For the

money." Well, there you have it. Bentley's get-rich-quick scheme involves taking over tony Shady Glen prep school, whose students include the treasured offspring of some of American's wealthiest families. Slouching between Bentley and nearly $1 billion in ransom: Ozzie (Vincent Kartheiser),

an adolescent MacGyver-gone-bad who happens to be dropping off his stepsister when the commandos take over. The movie wisely admits its indebtedness to the DIE HARD series by having Ozzie declare, "We have a Die Hard situation here," since it goes so far as to lift DIE HARD WITH A

VENGEANCE's scheme to drill the villains to freedom, along with Ozzie's John McClane lite persona -- the teen's gift for mischief is his only defense against Bentley's goons and booby traps. Director Roger Christian delivers up a cookie-cutter chase film that's saved from being a

straight-to-video Corey Feldman vehicle by the efforts of his cast, who are better than they have to be. Stewart wrings his gleefully obnoxious role for everything it's worth, while Fricker -- who plays tough Principal Maloney -- gets to engage in a bit of uncharacteristic derring-do; together

they lend considerable credibility to this hodge podge of action cliches and family dramedy. Parents may question the propriety of making light of the kidnapping of school children by a posse of heavily armed kidnappers, but they can at least take comfort in the fact that it assiduously avoids the

grisly violence that distinguishes most action movies. And who knows -- kids might just enjoy it.

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  • Released: 1997
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: Why are heavyweight talents like Patrick Stewart and Brenda Fricker messing about in a kiddie film like this? To quote Stewart's security expert turned high-tech kidnapper, Ralph Bentley, "Why does anybody do anything in this country? For the money." Well… (more)

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