Just as there are BabyGap and Talbots Kids, so Hollywood is now turning out pint-size versions of genre films to reach younger audiences. These movies feature kiddie casts with the same basic plot elements, hackneyed characters and vehicular chases as the grown-up films but—let's hear it for small favors—less sex, swearing and violence. The latest example is Catch That Kid, a mediocre heist/action film in which the 12-year-old heroine, Maddy (Stewart), attempts to steal $250,000 from a bank to pay for a medical operation her paralyzed dad (Sam Robards) needs to walk again. Cue the discussion about whether it's okay to do the wrong thing for the right reasons.
A remake of a 2002 Danish film called Klatretøsen, Kid is no better than it has to be to attract less-than-discriminating tweener audiences—but no worse either. Respectable actors such as Robards, Beals (who plays Maddy's mother) and James Le Gros (as an overenthusiastic bank guard) turn up here without embarrassing themselves. And Stewart (Panic Room) has a serious, almost fierce way about her that suggests she could end up an actress of substance. (PG)