Picks and Pans Review: Jimmy the Kid

updated 03/07/1983 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/07/1983 01:00AM

There is nothing quite so excruciating as a witless comedy, unless it's the sad spectacle of fine actors floundering through a mindless script. If it has nothing else to offer—and it doesn't—this movie at least allows you a chance to decide which is worse. Paul (Melvin and Howard) Le Mat, Dee (E.T.) Wallace, Ruth (Harold and Maude) Gordon and 280-pound newcomer Walter Olkewicz are a band of bungling crooks. So much for original premises. Olkewicz, the harebrains of the outfit, decides to kidnap Gary Coleman, the son of a popular country singer (Cleavon Little), and hold him for ransom, Don Adams is called in; he's the bungling detective. Director Gary (The Black Hole) Nelson, who is no slouch in the bungling department, lets Coleman overact to extremes he couldn't get away with even on Diff'rent Strokes. Wallace is usually a charmer, but her dumb blonde routine and gooey voice are particularly stomach-turning here. The estimable Le Mat just seems frazzled, Gordon is even more out of control than usual, Adams is as dumb as Maxwell Smart but not nearly as likable, and Olkewicz, despite his bulk, can't flesh out his character. The pun was intended, folks; with a movie like this, you have to take your laughs where you can find them, and that's about as big a chuckle as anyone is likely to get out of Jimmy the Kid.(PG)

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