Hey folks, Valkor here. At this past New York Comic Con, amongst the crowded floor of cosplayers, video gaming, and comic-booky fun, there laid a small booth, manned with just one guy, touting the uber-coolness of a film entitled "Boy Wonder" (directed by Michael Morrisey). Before that time I had received in the mail a postcard about the film and its screening. In the end I missed out due to not wanting to deal with the massive crowd any longer (not hatin, just sayin it was a bit much). And now in the comfort of my own cave, I got the chance to settle back and check out this film that's not at all about Batman's faithful sidekick, but amazing nonetheless. Check it out, it's Boy Wonder on DVD. Oh and beware some spoilers, though nothing major.
Boy Wonder centers on Sean Donovan (Caleb Steinmeyer), whom as a child witnessed the death of his mother (Mary Donovan, played by Tracy Middendorf) at the hands of a carjacker ten years prior. Since then he's lead a reclusive life with his father, Terry Donovan (Bill Sage) who tries his best to brighten up Sean's day yet you can feel some tension between the two. At school Sean is doing well, though not he doesn't have many friends. That's Sean by day; at night night he dons a black hoodie and faces off against some of the scummiest of scum Brooklyn has to offer, in hopes of one day finding his mother's killer. It never goes smoothly as Sean gets as much as he gives in terms of beatdowns, but he never lets up and keeps coming back for more. As in Bruce Wayne fashion, he trains at the gym, takes up chemistry, fluent in several languages, and hangs out at the local police station gathering up info on criminals. But unlike Wayne, Sean uses steroids to give him added strength and packs heat, unafraid to take a life.
Enter one Detective Teresa Ames (Zulay Henao), new to the force, she spots similarities in a thug who's been plaguing drug dealers to Sean. In one instance, the unknown vigilante attacks a subway bully, but before taking action, he tells a Chinese family – in their language, to leave the car. And guess who just happens to speak Chinese. Coincidence? I think not.
As the film progresses, Sean's reality begins to distort and past events of what may have actually taken place the night his mother was killed, begin to surface and all fingers point towards his father, whom it is revealed was an abusive drunk. How do all the pieces fit? Well you'll just have to see the film, but for now let's jump into the TOV Breakdown.
Boy Wonder is a masterpiece and a though-provoking film of what it's like to get inside the mind of someone who wants to become a vigilante; the film is the perfect blend of Kick Ass meets Law and Order; toss in elements of revenge and you'll get a DVD that's one of the smartest, grittiest films I've seen this year. Going in, I was expecting bad editing, cheesy dialogue, and shakey camera work - things you'd find in plenty independent films; imagine my surprise when there's none of that here. Boy Wonder is beautifully shot, very well acted, with a plot that's pretty straight-forward, with a few twists in between... especially at the end (which I won't discuss). But it's nothing where we, as the viewers, can't keep up. The level of suspense gets pretty heavy, especially towards the end. However there's plenty of slow breaks in-between to cool things down before that climatic finish. Caleb Steinmeyer deserves credit for his wonderful performance as Sean Donovan. In one of my favorite scenes, Sean faces off against this huge pimp who was beating up on his hooker; after Sean kicks the shit out of the pimp (believe me, the pimp gets his licks in too), the dude retreats leaving Sean with these words "You didn't save her (the hooker), you made it worse!", which leaves Sean with a decision – does he let the pimp live, pretty much ending the life of the hooker, or does he finish the job? Awesome scene! Acting props must also be given to Zulay Henao as Detective Ames, who's not only tough but also beautiful… yet I wouldn't slap her ass on a bet; I like my fingers unbroken thank you very much. Finally Bill Sage (Terry Donovan) and Daniel Stewart (Detective Gary Stenson) should also be commended for their performances as well, with Daniel taking the lead as he brings much needed comedic relief to the film. Overall to cast and crew, and especially to Michael Morrisey who brought it all together, I say great job!
Boy Wonder, as a revenge thriller, is gritty and provocative and it's a must see film for anyone who enjoys a heavy dose of suspense with their superhero dramas. Available now on DVD, this is one film that I highly recommend checking out. And out of TOV 5 stars, I'm giving Boy Wonder DVD a perfect 5 and it's been Valkor Viewed, TOV Approved!