THE MIDAS TOUCH is a tedious straight-to-video kiddie fantasy.
Billy Bright (Trevor O'Brien) is an orphan living with his Granny (Donna Hansen), a frail ex-shopkeeper in need of a pacemaker. At school, Billy is bullied by parasitic "friend" Leon (Joey Simmrin), who, dared by schoolmate Hannah (Ashley Lyn Cafagna) forces Billy to break into a spooky old house
for him. Inside, Billy meets witchlike Eleanor Latimer (Shannon Welles), who offers to grant him one wish. Seeking money for Granny's operation, Billy requests the fabled touch of King Midas. Sure enough, after Billy dashes out of the place, his index finger converts ordinary objects to solid
gold, including a pet gerbil, a baseball cap, and a soda can. Billy reveals the power to Leon and Hannah. Leon takes charge, bringing various glittering items to a pawnshop run by sleazy siblings Willy (David Jeremiah) and Cora (Marla Cotovsky). Unhappy at the pittance Leon reaps, Billy goes home
to Granny, who has just suffered cardiac arrhythmia. Touching her in concern, Billy accidentally changes the old woman into gold. Eleanor Latimer cannot undo the boys' wish--although she does "curse" obnoxious Leon with unnatural politeness. Consulting the complete tale of Midas, the three kids
determine that Billy must retouch every single object he transmuted. But Willy and Cora have followed them, and, mistaking the golden grandmother for the motherlode, steal her to melt her down. By the time the kids invade the pawnshop, Granny is liquified; moreover, Billy himself is slowly and
painfully becoming solid gold. The trio tote the buckets of gold back to Billy's home and add a few stray golden objects that earlier escaped notice. Billy touches the tubful, and everything, including Granny, returns to normal. But Billy is still metamorphosizing. As per the original Midas
legend, Leon and Hannah dunk their friend in a nearby stream, and Billy recovers. Later Billy get a $25,000 check from Eleanor Latimer to make Granny's surgery possible.
Nonsensical lapses in logic are plentiful in THE MIDAS TOUCHES: attentive viewers might note how many times Billy touches things that don't turn into gold. There are some clever gaglines here and there, small mercies in a feature that pretty much exhausts all its dramatic potential by the midway
point, then just reruns tiresome chase sequences with the annoyingly stereotypical white-trash villains Willy and Cora. The child actors gain points for being less overbearing than the adult ones, and the funnier moments involve Leon's excess of civility once he's hexed. Effective
computer-generated special effects of people and objects turning into gold demonstrates how advances in imaging technology can put a fresh shine on even the most tarnished story line. Like other family-oriented features from the same production company (JOHNNY MYSTO BOY WIZARD, LITTLE GHOST), THE
MIDAS TOUCH was actually shot at a discount in a well-disguised Bucharest, Romania, with principal perfomers imported from the USA.
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- Released: 1998
- Rating: PG
- Review: THE MIDAS TOUCH is a tedious straight-to-video kiddie fantasy. Billy Bright (Trevor O'Brien) is an orphan living with his Granny (Donna Hansen), a frail ex-shopkeeper in need of a pacemaker. At school, Billy is bullied by parasitic "friend" Leon (Joey Sim… (more)