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December 17, 2011

Movie Review: Boy Wonder (2011, Inception Media, Lightning Media and Boy Wonder Productions)

Written and directed by Michael Morrissey

Reviewed By Kenny Barnwell

Starring Caleb Steinmeyer, James Russo and Zulay Henao

Quick plot review~

A young boy witnesses the brutal murder of his mother during a carjacking, leaving him to be raised by his alcoholic, neglectful and abusive father. Now a 17 year old loner, Sean Donovan (Caleb Steinmeyer) is relentlessly haunted by his mothers murder and obsessed with finding her killer. Drawn into the nocturnal urban underworld, his rage is vented one night, defending himself from an attack by a drug dealer. Thus begins his life as a quiet, straight-A student by day and a self-appointed hero by night.

Buy Boy Wonder on DVD

Investigating a series of vigilante murders, homicide detective Teresa Ames (Zulay Henao) takes an interest in Sean and his case, and the closer she gets to him the more suspicious she becomes of him. Their relationship becomes a twisted game of cat and mouse, they become allies by day.....and enemies by night.

The lines between right and wrong become blurred as Sean begins to slowly lose himself as his violent alter-ego takes over. He finally snaps while at a high school party and viciously attacks a bully in front of his friend, without his war paint on, exposing himself for what he has become. With detective Ames closing in on him, he confronts his father about a dark secret concerning his mothers death. And this is where I will stop because I don't want to spoil the climax of the film for you.

This movie was slickly made, with a great raw feel to it. A very impressive debut for director Michael Morrissey. Looking at the cd case my first thought was, “Oh brother, not another superhero movie...” I am pleased to say, this is NOT another superhero movie. There are no irreproachable hero's in spandex with chins of granite. No evil super-villains bent on world destruction.

This movie brought many questions to my mind, like how many “real” Boy Wonders there are walking around in the violent, uncaring world we all live in? We see stories in the news often of random acts of violence by unnamed assailants, how many of them are committed by good intentioned people who have simply lost control? And what is the difference between a superhero and a serial killer? I guess it all depends on which side of the field your watching the game from. This movie really made me think after it was over, and that's a pretty rare trait in a movie. Steinmeyer does a great job and is very convincing in the lead role, by the end of the movie I was simultaneously cheering for him and feeling a sense of dread because no one was safe in his presence anymore. That's a pretty twisted emotion and it was pretty cool to experience that.

The movie was a bit slow to start off but shifted through all gears quite nicely once you got to about the quarter mark. And the climax of the movie was pure money, a double-dose of satisfaction showing the audience that no bad guy was going to escape their the hands of the Boy Wonder. This is a story about the real world, and its Morrissey's vision of what a superhero would really look like walking the same streets that you and I do. I was caught off guard and loved this film, and look forward to seeing what Michael Morrissey comes up with next. Good Stuff.

Special Features~

Features include a trailer and a great documentary on the making of the film and Steinmeyer's transformation from skinny actor kid to lethal weapon in face paint.

I give it a 7.5 out of 10, a really solid piece of work that should appeal to everyone from comic book geeks to anybody out there who has wanted to punch or shoot a bad guy in the face but just didn't have.

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