Message In A Cellphone

  • 2002
  • 1 HR 25 MIN
  • PG
  • Children's, Comedy, Crime

This child-friendly detective picture compensates for its absence of stars and modest budget with some nifty plot twists. Eleven-year-old Chase Peterson (Nick Whitaker) carries on bravely after a corrupt police supervisor frames his innocent father. While dad rots in the big house, Chase's buddies, Jeremy (Robbi Merrill) and Mac (James Laub), do their best...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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This child-friendly detective picture compensates for its absence of stars and modest budget with some nifty plot twists. Eleven-year-old Chase Peterson (Nick Whitaker) carries on bravely after a corrupt police supervisor frames his innocent father. While dad rots in the big house, Chase's buddies, Jeremy (Robbi Merrill) and Mac (James Laub), do their best to cheer him up and while the kids are horsing around at a desert resort in Las Palmas, Calif., they discover a new pastime: sleuthing. Eager to make five bucks, Chase agrees to deliver the cell phone an undercover agent named Felix (Terry Taylor) left by the hotel pool. As Chase gets to Felix's room, he overhears his dad's name mentioned in conversation, followed by the sound of gunshots. Naturally, the resort manager finds neither Felix's corpse or any evidence of foul play when Chase asks him to investigate. Chase believes that a message stored in Felix's cell phone could both explain Felix's disappearance and unearth evidence that will exonerate his dad. As Mac and Jeremy help Chase try to crack the voice mail code, Felix's killers try to figure out how to get the missing phone back. First a Felix impostor tries to trick the children at a rodeo; when that fails, a woman who claims to be Felix's wife nearly wrestles the cell phone away from the kids. What Chase doesn't realize is that Felix was part of a sting operation designed to expose crooked police officers, and the dirty cops are desperate enough to eliminate anyone who prevents them from erasing the incriminating phone message. When Chase finally gains access, the message implicates his dad's boss, Captain Snyder (Michael Grove), but the real danger may lie with someone Chase trusts. While the crime-solving is pretty rudimentary, this family oriented comedy allows clever children to triumph over wily adult felons, rather than the usual HOME ALONE doofuses.

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  • Released: 2002
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: This child-friendly detective picture compensates for its absence of stars and modest budget with some nifty plot twists. Eleven-year-old Chase Peterson (Nick Whitaker) carries on bravely after a corrupt police supervisor frames his innocent father. While… (more)

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