In this low-budget children's picture, a youngster who's a mechanical whiz foils a trio of bungling robbers who've overdosed on too many Three Stooges movies. Jazzed up with lots of clever remote control stunts, REMOTE is remotely entertaining; attention-holding for children and painlessly
breezy for teens and adults.
When he's not getting even with the school bully, Ben (Jordan Belfir), remote control buff Randy (Chris Carrara) packs up his electronically controlled vehicles and plays at a model home site with his pal Judy (Jessica Bowman). After Ben gets Randy grounded by appropriating Randy's toy plane and
wrecking their classroom with it, Randy hightails it to his hide-out with all his mechanical toys including Otto, a yodeling mountain-climber who can walk up and down wires. But Randy, a latch-key kid, is not the only one laying low in the housing development. Discovering the same model home as
Randy, three inept burglars--Delbert (John Diehl), Louis (Tony Longo), and Richie (Stuart Fratkin)--deactivate the alarm sensors and move in until the heat from their latest robbery dies down. Trapped upstairs, Randy mechanically bedevils the bush league burglars by stealing their grub and pulling
pranks to turn them against each other (like leaving a tack in Louis' shoe). When Randy's loving but distracted Mom (Derya Ruggles) discovers her son is missing, she calls Judy, who pedals bravely to the secret hideaway and is nabbed by the goofy crooks. Using his helicopter, the garage door
remote, and a slobbering guard dog (lured in by meat carried by one of the mechanical toys), resourceful Randy immobilizes all three crooks. By the time the police arrive, amateur crimestopper Randy and his trusty remote collection have the situation well in hand.
Aimed squarely at the family trade, REMOTE deserves kudos for keeping the violence to a minimum, and kids will get a kick out of the remote control tricks Randy plays on the inept crooks. The film plays like a scale model version of a demonstration of big Hollywood stunt vehicles, and steals
shamelessly from the HOME ALONE series, in which a bigger budget was definitely an asset. There is no wholesale slapstick destruction here, so action comedy fans will have to lower their expectations, and the film subscribes to the dubious notion--prevalent in gadget-laden contemporary kids'
films--that criminals are just over-grown playground bullies, easily outwitted by children. If the slapstick were of a higher order, and if the boy-in-peril plot complications had been worked out more ingeniously, REMOTE might have been better than average. In its rather unambitious present form,
it delivers a few cheap chuckles and zips along without offending anyone except cuddly career criminals.
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- Released: 1993
- Rating: NR
- Review: In this low-budget children's picture, a youngster who's a mechanical whiz foils a trio of bungling robbers who've overdosed on too many Three Stooges movies. Jazzed up with lots of clever remote control stunts, REMOTE is remotely entertaining; attention-h… (more)