A kid solved a bunch of cases as a kid, received lots of accolades, and then burned out as he got older because he couldn’t solve a case of a missing girl.
What I Liked
So I have to start with the recognition that I have no memory of how this movie ended up on my “to be watched” list. I assume I saw a reference to it in some “”upcoming”” release article, and was attracted to the idea that a kid detective became an adult detective. I’ve enjoyed the premise in other shows like Psych and Carter. There’s even an element of it in the Nancy Drew series, albeit with more of a supernatural bent now that she’s older. So I wanted to give it a go.
The odd part is that the movie is relatively flat for the first hour. Dark, somewhat bleak, even though the main elements are there. Lots of cases, barely getting by, doing whatever he can to survive but being very cynical about the world. It is the ending after the reveal that makes it almost watchable…after effects, the callbacks, the tying together of early clues, etc. Based on the first 80% of the movie, there’s no expectation the last 20% will give you anything, and yet the plotting is decent.
What I Didn’t Like
As noted, the first hour is really flat as well as dark and bleak. The narrator/lead notes that after it is all over, it’s like the city is in colour again, for the first time in years, and you see it in the cinematography. More lively, brighter. There is no amazing acting anywhere, although the lead is okay; the rest of the cast is relatively terrible. TV-movie-of-the-week-quality overall, but for some reason, I enjoyed watching everything except some questionable camerawork in the first 5 minutes that sets a tone that I felt was off (blaming a victim).
The Bottom Line (★★★☆☆)
A surprisingly decent ending for a lacklustre start.