The WizardDecember 15, 1989
A boy and his brother run away from home and hitch cross country with the help of a girl they meet to compete in the ultimate video game championship.
Release Year: 1989
Rating: 5.6/10 (6,218 voted)
Stars: Fred Savage, Luke Edwards, Jenny Lewis
Corey and Jimmy Woods are two brothers who are being separated due to their parents divorcing. Jimmy is a mentally unstable kid that has had problems ever since his sister died at a young age. One day, Corey discovers that Jimmy has a natural talent for playing video games. He is one of the best around, and the two journey to the West Coast to compete in a video game championship, but along the way, they must avoid the adults, who are trying to take Jimmy away.
(as Vincent Leahr)
It's more than a game… It's the chance of a lifetime.
Release Date: 15 December 1989
Filming Locations: Cabazon, California, USA
Did You Know?
Participating theaters would distribute issues of "Pocket Power" a pocket-sized version of "Nintendo Power" magazine.
In the first encounter between Putnam and Sam, Sam pulls out a shovel and repeatedly hits Putnam's car as he tries to leave. If you watch closely, Sam destroys the front left headlight twice. After smashing it the first time, a few seconds later it shows him hit it again as if it had not been hit yet.
[talking on the phone about Haley]
I touched her breast. She doesn't have any breasts!
i love the power glove. it's my mommie.
Somewhere along the line, someone realized that it's nigh impossible to
make a good movie based on a video game. So instead, they made a movie
about the entire Nintendo Entertainment System, thereby capturing all the
feel-good nostalgia associated with its hundreds of titles, but without crippling handicaps such as an unfeasible plot or Jean-Claude VanDamme as Colonel William F. Guile. Thus was born The Wizard…a shameless consumerist repackaging of The Who's Tommy, adjusted for a new audience and coming at you in full-on buddy film fashion.
Fred Savage explodes onto the screen as a curly-haired dork with highly
articulate eyebrows. He's caught between his divorced parents in a
custody battle over his autistic, obsessive-compulsive, equinophobic, dyslexic, colorblind kid brother Jimmy. Realizing that being in the custody of one or more of his parents will most certainly kill Jimmy (and that Jimmy has the superhuman ability to reach level 3 on Double Dragon),
Fred Savage does the right thing and whisks his kid brother off to
exploit his virtuosic video game playing ability for cash and prizes
worth well over $130.
Along the way they meet Haley, who's totally hot if you're 12. Haley
misleads Fred and Jimmy on many occasions, notably one scene where
renegade truckers steal their entire video game pilgrimage budget and
presumably, molest them. Still, they stick to their guns (or should I say, their Nintendo LIGHT GUNS, for use with Duck Hunt), even managing to outsmart the enigmatic Lucas, a rebellious young boy who apparently lives alone in the desert like Mohammed. Only this messiah has a Nintendo POWER GLOVE,
buy yours today!
Lucas complicates the story, creating a sordid love triangle between
himself, Fred Savage and Haley. He taunts Jimmy ruthlessly (“We
wouldn't want you to…WHIZ on yourself.”) and, despite having devoted his life to Nintendo games and thus presumably having no friends, a crowd of
prepubescent disciples follow him at all times. His secret to success is the Nintendo Power Glove, which is, in Lucas's own words, “so bad.” But as most of us know, the truth is that the Nintendo Power Glove was “totally gay.” It only did what you wanted it to do when you were punching your friend in the face with it to vent your frustration about its lack of response.
The protagonists' path is beset by peril on all sides. There are
teenage white trash hoodlums who exist solely for the purpose of
stealing Jimmy's hat and saying lines like “What is this kid, some sort of cyborg?” There are fat salesmen who talk like Foghorn Leghorn, unable to believe that a scrawny kid is better than they are at Contra.
And don't get me started on the creepy bald guy hired by Fred's mom to
bring the kids back home, dead or alive. His name is Putnam and repeatedly
touches Haley's breasts. Meanwhile, Beau Bridges plays Nintendo like my
dad, yanking the controller this way and that. Every time Beau Bridges
and Christian Slater run into Putnam, a redneck banjo riff kicks in and
the whole movie starts to sound like a Menard's commercial while the adversaries engage in automobile/ gardening tool combat.
Saved from certain molestation by a grotesque man-child named Spanky,
their adventure climaxes when they play Ninja Gaiden with a scary
gravel-voiced MC (who also seems to be a child molester) and nearly get eaten by a fake King Kong at UNIVERSAL STUDIOS THEMEPARK, now open! By the way, Jimmy knows the exact location of the Warp Whistle in Super Mario Bros. 3 prior to the game's release because he reads Nintendo Power Magazine. Jimmy gets the warp whistle and uses it to reach World 4 (yes, “Giant World”) and Lucas looks on helplessly as his empire of Power Gloves comes crashing down around him.
Spackled with golden dialogue, this movie is a subculture in its own
right. But while many people quote Lucas's “it's so bad,” or Haley's
“he touched my breast,” for me it doesn't get any better than when Christian Slater says,
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”