This loopy minor thriller should appeal to youngsters with its story of the unbeatable teamwork of a fatherless boy and a child-like adult. Though adults don't take them seriously, this odd couple outwits a homicidal arsonist. The wolf comes to the door of Matherson's Wax Museum in the person of a developer, Mr. Venzal (Daniel Pilon). Having gentrified the neighborhood, Venzal intends to build a casino on property belonging to Jennifer Matherson (Susie Almgren). Jennifer refuses to sell but is forced to cut the hours of her employees, including such the pathologically shy Bobby Fish (Chris Heyerdahl), whom she hired to pose as a gunslinger figure. Leaving her son, Chris (Patrick Thomas), in his grandpa's care, Jennifer leaves town for a meeting with real estate lawyers. While standing at his post in the Westerm diorama, Bobby overhears as Venzal hires arsonist Gregor (John Heard) to torch Matherson's Museum. Unfortunately, Gregor realizes that Bobby is no dummy. Bobby reports the conversation to Chris, who at first doesn't believe him; he's always regarded as a tongue-tied weirdo. Bobby convinces Chris to accompany him to the police station, where they come to suspect that detective Kurt Johnson (Larry Day) is one of Venzal's accomplices. Gregor kidnaps Bobby and Chris pursues by bike, freeing his new friend from the felon's cabin hideaway. Chris also learns how Bobby came to be so backward; Bobby describes his carnival childhood, during which he was forced to appear in his cruel father's knife-throwing act. After scrambling through the woods, Bobby and Chris get separated and Gregor recaptures Bobby. Gregor ties up Bobby at the museum, which is primed for a gas explosion. With time running out, whom can Chris trust? Since this is a non-threatening kiddie adventure, the cops eventually capture Venzal and Gregor. But despite the predictable story, the relationship between cynical Chris and uncertain Bobby, who must overcome his inner demons in order to save the day and gain Chris's respect, is genuinely compelling.
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- Released: 2000
- Rating: PG
- Review: This loopy minor thriller should appeal to youngsters with its story of the unbeatable teamwork of a fatherless boy and a child-like adult. Though adults don't take them seriously, this odd couple outwits a homicidal arsonist. The wolf comes to the door of… (more)