Monday, May 10, 2010

The Mystery of the Million Dollar Hockey Puck

(Jean Lafleur/Peter Svatek, 1975)
A goofy criminal plot - something involving cross-border jewel smuggling and the Montreal Canadiens - is just an excuse for what turns out to be a feature-length chase scene. And this in turn is a convenient pretext for a guided tour of Quebec's most photogenic landmarks; someone has been watching North By Northwest. Don't let that get your hopes up, because this is a silly, clunky movie. But damned if it doesn't move; it never bogs down in plotting or character development, just keeps chugging from one charmingly obvious set piece to the next. And since this kids' flick is brought to you by schlock avatars Dunning-Link, God knows it never stoops to moralizing either, unless the moral is unbridled juvenile autonomy. Between running away from the orphanage and sneaking into the Forum, Michael Macdonald ("Mike" Macdonald? I don't believe you, imdb) and Angele Knight cause all kinds of havoc; but instead of learning to behave they single-handedly trounce the Bugsy-and-Mugsy gangsters, and get to hang out in the Habs' locker room as a reward. If I had any intention of raising kids I'd sure give 'em this over some Disney shit - not least for my own enjoyment.

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