Little Red Wagon Reviews
As a film, it's in no way perfect. I hesitate to label it a "Hallmark'' kind of movie, but it really is. However, there are plenty of positives. First of all, the story. It's undeniable that Zach's story is a inspiring one. In a speech he gave to his supporters, Zach outlines what it means to help his fellow human beings, something that adults struggle with. It's rather simple. He says, "the hurricane missed us. I saw how it affected those people, and how it could've been us in their shoes''. Humans have an incredible sense of empathy for one another. I loved how the film didn't have a religious prompt, which is common in these sort of films. It gave an honest reason why we should help those in need, not for selfish gain or for proselytizing our beliefs.
Production wise, the film is decently made. It certainly wouldn't have been as good as it was if not for Anna Gunn. We all recognize her as the steadfast wife of Walter White on hit television show, Breaking Bad. She's won multiple awards for television, and she gives a solid performance here. She plays the mother of Zach and his sister Kelley (Daveigh Chase). By far, the worst character in the film is kelly. I understand the mother-daughter struggle, but the actress was just horrid. It should also be mentioned the writers did a bad job with her character. A couple of the characters in the film flip flop for no apparent reason. Moving on, the young actor playing Zach--Chandler Canterbury--does a good job for the most part. I'm always apprehensive of child actors, just because kid actors can ruin a movie sometimes.
Director David Anspaugh does a reasonable job directing this film. He's best known for his films, Hoosiers, Rudy, and Hill Street Blues. Directing actors doesn't seem to be his expertise, but rather his eye for cinematography. The film is shot by Mihai MĂlaimare, Jr., but as you know, the director is often behind the camera setting up the shots. If nothing else, the film is very well filmed. The script is written by Patrick Sheane Duncan, winner of the CableACE Award for Writing for a Dramatic Series for Vietnam War Story: The Last Days, and a Christopher Award for Mr. Holland's Opus, which also garnered him a Golden Globe nomination. Therefore, the script is decent enough. The dialogue felt very stale and generic in my opinion, which is surprising coming from a so well praised writer.
Before I close, the negatives must be presented. Yes, this is an inspiring story, but the filmmaking is a bit dull. There is a subplot in the film in which a women named Margaret (Frances O'Connor) and her young son become homeless due to financial reasons. I fully understand this addition to the film, but it did not ad one thing to it. The film is about Zach and his story, so I felt that this subplot held that main story down a bit. I must also mention that I'm not a big fan of Frances O'Connor, despite how attractive she is. As previously mentioned, Anna Gunn's character is struggling with her teenage daughter, played by Daveigh Chase. This women cannot act, and she comes off as an extremely annoying teen girl. Even when the conflict between she and her mother seems resolved, she continues to cause trouble at times when the film really needs to move along.
"The Little Red Wagon'' follows the inspiring story of a young man who wants to change the world. Most people can overlook my qualms and enjoy this decently made family film. I think we should all strive to be like Zach; selfless, and willing to help our fellow creature. While the direction was solid, and Anna Gunn's performance was sincere, the writing was a bit generic. The film also is overlong, clocking in at nearly two hours! Despite the clunky subplots, generic dialogue, annoying characters, and an at times Hallmark feel, this is a film I'd totally recommend to families. It's just not as superb as it could have been in someone else's hands.
A little boy in Tennessee is taken back by the number of homeless families and children he sees in his city. He takes up an effort to walk around the neighborhood and collect donations to make care packages for the homeless. He then starts writing letters to major companies until Build-a-Bear finally responds. The boy's efforts begin getting recognized and he ultimately becomes the youngest boy to lead a non-profit organization.
"So far sixteen people are dead."
David Anspaugh, director of Hoosiers, Rudy, WiseGirls, Moonlight and Valentino, The Game of their Lives, Fresh Horses, and Two against Time, delivers Little Red Wagon. The storyline for this picture is above average and has a great sister-brother dynamic. The primary premise was good and the subplot of the homeless family was also very interesting. The acting as solid and the cast includes Chandler Canterbury, Anna Gunn, Frances O'Connor, Deena Dill, Dylan Matzke, and Daveigh Chase.
"Nice work, chick magnet."
The Little Red Wagon is a movie I decided to sit down and watch with my daughter. She definitely enjoyed portions of this movie, especially the walking scenes with the boy; but overall, this was just an above average family drama. I recommend watching this once but I wouldn't add it to my DVD collection.
"He makes me feel special."
Although its not an amazing production it has heart & the little kids story is amazing nonetheless.
I feel the sub plot (the woman & her son who are homeless) is fantastic it makes the pilgrimage of this boy so much more meaningful. This kid has touched so many lives & this film shares his story to all...