Release year: 1989
Director: Todd Holland
Screenwriter: David Chisholm
Starring: Fred Savage, Luke Edwards, Jenny Lewis, Wendy Phillips, Sam McMurray, Beau Bridges, Christian Slater
After hearing his brother Jimmy (Edwards) he was separated from due to their parents’ divorce is put in an institute, Corey (Savage) sneaks him out and go on a road trip to California with him. On the way they run into Haley (Lewis), a young girl also travelling alone, and discover Jimmy has an uncanny skill for playing video games. They decide to enter him in a gaming tournament in Hollywood and split the prize if he wins. But after them is the brothers’ father (Bridges) and oldest brother (Slater) as well as a sleazy bounty hunter hired by their mum (Phillips).
Anyone who has grown up playing the video games seen in the movie will be instantly struck by nostalgia but besides that, The Wizard is a surprisingly charming movie about friendship and family. Savage (Austin Powers in Goldmember, 2002) is best known for his appearance in the TV-series The Wonder Years but holds his ground fine here, where he plays the lead and tackles both the responsibility of a mentally unstable little brother, thugs and first love. Edwards (Little Big League, 1994) is convincing as the troubled little kid while Phillips (Airplane 2: The Sequel, 1982) shows spunk as the feisty Haley. It is dramatic, fun and sweet all at once and will keep the entire family gripped for the entire running time. Charming.
Beau Bridges and Christian Slater had little interest in video games when they were cast in the movie. However, after playing during filming, they became fans.
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Picture Copyright: UIP