Barney thinks he’s beat the system. After some fool proof research, he’s pin-pointed the hot toy of the Christmas season (a Crabby Mousie) and plans to stockpile them, sell them at a profit, and buy himself a bike with the proceeds (Barney is approximately 12 years old). He recruits his geeky best friend Walt, reluctantly allows his devoted fan Iris in on the deal, and gets saddled with little brother Penn, making for the motliest crew of criminals you’ve ever seen.
At least until they come across an actual gang of thieves, adult ones, led by Forte, in the department store with the very same goal.
Kid robbers vs. grown up robbers means the kids go all Home Alone at the grown-up asses, albeit in an uninspired and low-budget way. This movie is truly not very good, and I can’t imagine that even the director ever thought it would be. The kids are annoying (have I mentioned lately how much I hate fake lisps? Is there anything on earth I hate more? I’d rather eradicate fake lisps than war, I think, such is my revulsion), and the grown-ups are ludicrous. The security guard, an adult, for the record, spends 10% of his time kareokeing and 90% being stuck in his own office, outwitted by kids, of course. And don’t get me started on Forte, the villain. Oh okay, go ahead and get me started! The man sounds like the Swedish Chef but he dresses like he’s ready for a Gotye video. I mean, floral on floral is pretty bold, but who wears that to break in somewhere? And the villain above him (what a hierarchy!), Daphne, is described as a “socialite shut-in” with zero apparent irony. You know, just one of those shut-ins who really loves to get out there and party.
I don’t even know if there’s a hot toy for 2018, but if there is, and if you’re morally obligated to find and buy one for a kid on your list, then whatever hoops and hell you have to go through to get it will be a breeze compared to watching all 80 minutes of this film. So, you know, don’t.