Don’t be put off by the juvenile title: Disney’s The Kid is not for tots. Slightly more mature audiences, however, will enjoy Bruce Willis’ deft turn as an all-work-and-no-play image consultant who really gets in touch with his inner child through a mystical encounter with his 8-year-old self (Spencer Breslin).
Unsubtly directed by Jon Turteltaub (While You Were Sleeping), this midlife-crisis farce is a contrivance-filled confection. It feels like one of those late-’80s body-switching comedies, though thankfully it’s closer in spirit to Big than Like Father, Like Son or Vice Versa. There’s a lightness to Willis’ performance that hasn’t been seen since his Moonlighting days. Gone is the ham-handed approach he brought to ostensibly comedic roles in The Whole Nine Yards and on NBC’s Friends, both of which cast the actor alongside Matthew Perry (who has an unrecognizable cameo here as a longhaired software mogul). Perhaps playing off pudgy, adorably unaffected costar Breslin helped to loosen Bruce up. You don’t need a Sixth Sense to see that the man is doing his best work with kids these days. B+
WHAT WE SAID THEN: ”Klutzily titled, secretly intelligent.” B (#549, July 14, 2000) — Lisa Schwarzbaum
Disney’s The Kid
WALT DISNEY HOME VIDEO
ALSO ON DVD