Note: I wrote this review April 14th, 2013. I have not revisited this film. Vaguely remember what it’s about and desperately need to re-watch to verify.
For today’s edition, we’ll be taking a look at a movie called “Boy Wonder”. I’ve actually been wanting to take time out to go ahead and watch this movie but I just haven’t been able to make time for it until now. Really, the only time that I ever watch movies these days is whenever I have a friend over, and we each pick one movie, then agree on a third movie that is the quote unquote main-event of it all. That’s not important, and you don’t care, but basically, that’s why I always kind-of put off movies that I want to watch even if I think that they have the odds of actually being any good.
We’ve been doing the Sunday Night Movie Night with three movies for the past two weeks, and although, last week we went with three Japanese movies with sub-titles, I basically put my foot-down in saying that I wanted to watch something in English. He ended up choosing a movie called Alter Ego, a movie that I reviewed in the previous episode, and we topped it all off with watching V/H/S. However, the movie that I picked was the movie that I’ll be reviewing right now. Boy Wonder is a 2010 America drama and psychological-thriller about vigilantism. Unfortunately, the movie doesn’t necessarily live up to the title in the sense that I was crossing my fingers that it’d somehow be about Robin, but I am more than happy with the experience that I had with the movie.
The cast of this movie is entirely unheard of to the masses, as this is an independent movie, I couldn’t find a page that told me anything about the lead-role, Caleb Steinmeyer, who I thought cranked out a terrific performance. Zulay Henao who played the detective Teresa Ames appeared in both S. Darko and Hostile Part 3, I haven’t actually gotten a chance to watch Hostile 3 yet, I finished Hostile 2 recently, but anyway, I think it’s fair to say that she’s limited to pretty low-key sequels to series’ that have already jumped the shark. Besides that, the movie has James Russo, Bil Sage, Tracy Middendorf, and Chuck Cooper. Enough getting out the things that you probably don’t care about let’s focus on the story.
The story focuses on the character of Sean Donovan, a young adult that is withdrawn, quiet, and lives alone with his dad. His mother, whom he adored, was shot in-front of him in a carjacking gone awry. After all was said and done, he believes that his mother’s murderer was never brought to justice, and after years of unsettled feelings, he begins to take on a sense of vigilantism. This doesn’t feel shades of somebody like Dexter, who kills because it puts gas into his tank that is on empty, or even like any mainstream superheroes that fight crime for the betterment of mankind.
He tells himself that the reason that he’s doing these things is because he’s doing it to right wrongs, but honestly, I think that the underlying theme throughout it all is that he is filled with anger and rage that he doesn’t know how to get rid of. He doesn’t take satisfaction in doing it, it doesn’t seem like something that he wants to do or enjoys doing, it seems like something that he feels inclined to do. Meanwhile, detective Teresa Ames watches the occurrences as they happen, and tries to put the pieces to the puzzle together. The movie reminds me in a way of The Ugly, a nineties New Zealand horror-film, in which, he seems to depict things in a different way than what they are, a more angrier and sinister way.
The acting in this movie was great for the most part, and the pace of this movie really made it become something that I could sink my teeth into, much more than something else that could have wrapped up this story in fifty minutes or an hour. I found the story to really capture my attention with suspenseful happenings, and really, it’s just very enjoyable watching the wheels turn inside of the character’s head. You root for him in a way because there have been things that have happened to him that are unfair but at the same time, you feel a little uncomfortable doing so, because you comprehend that what you’re seeing is wrong.
I am not talking about him thwarting criminals, I couldn’t care less, I am talking more about the decisions that he makes about the people around him. There’s not a whole lot of criticisms that I can say about this movie, I guess that my only grievance is that the chase between the characters and him could’ve been longer than what it was, but honestly, it’s not broke, and I see no reason to try and fix it. The way that it was shot was tremendous, one of the reasons that I don’t like some independent films that I watch is because some of them have a quality of cinematography that makes it look cheap and generic. This movie didn’t look cheap or generic, it looked good, every bit as good as something that you might see from a big-time thriller.
In conclusion, I found myself becoming very invested in the characters and the story, and I think that I can honestly say that it found its way as being one of the best movies that I can ever remember seeing. I remember the music really sticking out to me whenever I watched it. The movie walks out with a nine out of ten, and I’d recommend this movie to anybody that likes psychological thrillers or in-depth looks on the inner-workings of somebody suffering from traumatic events.