Parents searching for bland family entertainment need look no further than MAX IS MISSING, which takes preteen audiences on a mildly perilous excursion through Peru with the detachment of a "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" term paper.
A product of a broken home, Max (Toran Caudell) isn't happy when he is sent to spend the summer with his journalist dad, Robbie (Matthew Sullivan), who's on assignment in Peru with his photographer/girlfriend Rebecca (Alexandra Hedison). When he discovers a tourist trinket in his knapsack, he
doesn't realize that it contains a priceless religious idol and had been hidden there by a now-dead graverobber while fleeing his partners Becker (Charles Napier) and Velasco (Rick Dean).
Becker bribes street urchin Juanito (Victor Rojas) to pinch Max's backpack, but Juanito decides to keep it for himself. Circumstances force the two boys to team up after Max is unable to re-board his train due to Becker's presence. After surviving a plunge into raging river rapids, the boys
discover the true value of their cargo when the golden idol is broken out of its concealings. Following the advice of a prophetess, the Curandera (Iris Peynado), the boys consider turning the idol over to local leader Great Inca (Reynaldo Arenas).
Becker kidnaps Max's Dad. Max and Rebecca fail to foil Becker when they are to turn over the idol to free Robbie. In quick order, a foreign buyer helicopters in to buy the idol. However, Juanito and Great Inca's disciples interrupt the exchange. When Becker sneaks off with the idol and the buyer's
loot, Max sends a spear into the blades of his departing helicopter, thus forcing a landing. The Incas reclaim their holy icon. Becker faces the Peruvian Penitentiary.
Extolling the breathtaking vistas of Macho Pichu, MAX IS MISSING offers a surfeit of local color and enough sightseeing footage for several travelogues. Young and impressionable viewers may enjoy the combination of high adventure and low humor, though adults may be less tolerant of the villains'
repetitive grab-the-brats shenanigans, the cloying international boy-bonding of spoiled Max and opportunistic Juanito, and the filmmakers insistence at keeping the thrills at a meek, non-threatening level. Neither offensive nor noteworthy, MAX IS MISSING is essentially a tepid baby-sitting device.
(Violence, adult situations.)
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- Released: 1995
- Rating: NR
- Review: Parents searching for bland family entertainment need look no further than MAX IS MISSING, which takes preteen audiences on a mildly perilous excursion through Peru with the detachment of a "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" term paper. A product of a broke… (more)