While I’m typically not one to sit still for an entire movie, I was recently bribed with popcorn, soda pop and sour gummy worms, and forced to watch “Boy Wonder,” a 2010 psychological thriller about a dude with some serious daddy issues.
Directed by Michael Morrissey, “Boy Wonder” tells the harrowing story of Sean Donovan, played by Caleb Steinmeyer, who witnesses his mother’s murder at a very young age — so I guess he’s got some mommy issues too.
Following his mother’s murder, Donovan becomes quite the misanthrope, occupying his time by studying rigorously and perfecting his fighting skills in a basement gym.
Donovan hardly retains a relationship with his father and the film’s flashbacks tell why — he’s an angry, violent drunk.
Now if I were Donovan, I might have sought some professional counseling — but he decides to deal with his problems in a unique way.
Using his talents as a fighter and his cunning intellect, Donovan becomes a vigilante, prowling the shadows of the city streets in order to prevent petty crimes. He also frequents the New York City police department, secretly searching for clues regarding his mother’s homicide.
In doing so, Donovan captures the attention of Teresa Ames (Zulay Henao), an NYPD cop assigned to the homicide division.
After sharing his goals with Ames, the two work to rectify the mysteries of his past by doing some further investigating. This causes Donovan to discover his father’s old boxing nickname, “Rock,” which instantly triggers another flashback of the night his mom was murdered.
What happens in said flashback, you ask?
You guessed it — Donovan recalls the murderer referring to his father as “Rock” the night his mom died, prompting him to believe that his father hired the assailant in order to collect an insurance check.
I won’t spoil the ending for those interested in checking out “Boy Wonder,” but to me, Donovan’s struggle story is full of unusual situations that could’ve been avoided altogether.
While he obviously couldn’t have controlled what happened to his mother, Donovan could’ve at least done some yoga instead of dwelling on her death and becoming a killer himself.
Decorated with freaky flashbacks, a puzzling storyline, and countless scenes of violence and murder, “Boy Wonder” isn’t a film for those with weak stomachs.
While I’m a little skeptical of the acting, the overall concept is one for the books.
All in the all, “Boy Wonder” teaches us one thing: if your parent is killed by a masked murderer, the best way to get over it is to become a vigilante.