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When young, deeply traumatized Jimmy Woods (Luke Edwards) is institutionalized, his older brother Corey (Fred Savage) kidnaps him from the children's home, and together they set off on a cross-country trek, pursued in slapstick fashion by their father (Beau Bridges), another older brother
(Christian Slater), and a goofy but sadistic tracker of runaways (Will Seltzer). After the boys team up with tough, cute little Haley (Jenny Lewis), she and Corey discover that Jimmy (who refuses to speak) is a "wizard" at video games, and put his gift to use to scam big money. Eventually, all
parties arrive in California, where Jimmy wins the video game championships; afterwards, the source of his distress is finally revealed. Essentially a 90-minute commercial for Nintendo, THE WIZARD is unforgivably trite and shallow. The runaways' actions provide anything but responsible models for
the children who make up the film's target audience, and the likable cast flails against the rampant idiocy and gross commercialism.