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Kid, The

I see fed people. Bruce Willis baby-sits a chunky 8-year-old version of himself.


Meet image consultant Russell Duritz (Willis). We know he's a bad guy because he's successful, well dressed, connected to his cell phone, lives in a large, modern home and doesn't have a dog. Worst of all, he's wealthy. Sentimental movie law No. 1 dictates that any curmudgeon must have a heart of gold, so "Disney's The Kid" sends a doughy, 8-year-old Mini-Russ (Spencer Breslin) to go mining. Once Russ is convinced that he's actually looking at a time-displaced version of himself, he's forced to deal with his inner demons and outer child.


Fortunately, this movie swerves around much of its potential schlockiness thanks to Willis, who has the ability to be funny when he's grumpy and restrained when he's warm. Willis also plays well with kids. Though Breslin starts with sitcom sappiness and a stream of precociously grumpy jibes, he blossoms halfway through the film into a sincere and warm performer. Lily Tomlin is deadpan perfect in all of her too few scenes.


Despite a parade of predictable situations (when Russ tells people the time-displaced kid is his nephew, the film reads like a "Bewitched" rerun), Jon Turteltaub pilots a moving story. Young ones will enjoy the movie's slapstick and sassiness while adults will be moved by its touching look at growing up.

Bottom Line

The kid is all right.


Starring Bruce Willis, Emily Mortimer, Spencer Breslin, Lily Tomlin and Chi McBride.

Produced and directed by Jon Turteltaub. Written by Audrey Wells. Released by Buena Vista.