Welcome to Friday Night Flix, where there’s never a need to leave the couch or put on pants. Each week I’ll recommend an under-the-radar movie currently available on one or more of the major streaming platforms. They won’t all be classics, but every selection is guaranteed to be 100% watchable or your money back.
Technically speaking, Boy Wonder (Netflix, Amazon) is a vigilante movie. Traumatized kid goes on a brutal killing spree targeting criminals, sounds pretty similar to Death Wish (and its barely watchable pseudo remake, The Brave One). But I think it’s better viewed as a hyper-realistic superhero origin story. The kid in question not only trains constantly to keep his body in shape, but he has no qualms with pumping steroids and using brass knuckles to up his game. Much less a reactionary response to the horrors he’s witnessed, this kid makes a conscious decision to become something almost Batmanesque. It’s an immensely entertaining fantasy, made even more so by the moral implications of some of the people he beats the shit out of, including a high school bully and a presumably schizophrenic subway passenger.
Boy Wonder stumbles a bit when it tries to build a Boondock Saints type cat-and-mouse between the main character and an insanely attractive detective who just so happens to work in the same fucking precinct the kid has been hanging around for the past ten years. Instead of the Saints’ Russian language skills, this kid speaks fluent Chinese, which is a central part of the description of the killer that escapes the notice of all the veteran police officers. This obvious, crucial piece of information is caught only by the supermodel junior detective. Apparently the message here is old, fat cops are inept, while young, gorgeous ones are not. Well, yeah, obviously.
Added Bonus: Holy hell, look at that kid’s hairline down below. The actor who plays him is really pretty terrific so I don’t mean to make fun. I’m just saying, if I needed a Big Ern comb-over when I was 17 I’d be pretty pissed, too.