ACE THE CASE: MANHATTAN MYSTERY REVIEWED
“Ace the Case: Manhattan Mystery” is such an odd film. The idea of an Encyclopedia Brown movie that gets suddenly violent is funny to me. But, the execution onscreen leaves a lot to be desired. After the early family tragedy setup, we’re left with sibling gumshoes trying to solve the case of the missing Asian woman. Susan Sarandon shows up as the overworked older NYPD detective that gets stuck with these kids. I wish that I was joking about any of this. But, that’s when I realize that I didn’t mention the villain’s need to carry around his giant pet rabbit.
It took me three times watching the movie, before I finally stopped trying to revisit it. While I enjoy films that don’t talk down to kids, I’m not sure of the film’s point. Is this a kid power flick about overcoming grief to find a larger purpose? Was there something to be sad about the family unit and its ability to overcome any great tragedy? Also, what was the need to have a big star like Susan Sarandon in a forgettable supporting role. Did Sarandon know someone on the creative team and owe a favor? Don’t take that as a knock on the film, but it seemed like a big budget hit to include her in such a smaller supporting role.
I review my fair share of odd films and few end up turning out this well. While the movie lacks anything resembling perfection, it feels like the bizarre oddities that used to make up early cable viewings of my youth. While not quite a complete misstep, “Ace the Case” is the kind of oddity that hipster teens will discover after the fact. Watch it now and then let the kids think they discovered something ironically.
- 1 hr and 34 mins
RELEASE DATE: 8/26/16
- Film Score - 60%60%
The Plot Thus Far
When 10-year old Olivia’s Mom goes on a business trip for the weekend, she leaves Olivia home alone with her 17-year-old brother Miles in charge. The first night, Olivia falls asleep on the couch, and wakes up, not realizing how late it is. She walks her dog Charlie without Miles knowing, and witnesses a young woman being kidnapped on the empty New York City streets. Olivia runs home and tells Miles, but he doesn’t believe her. The next morning, she explains what happened to local cops, and they don’t believe her either! Only a cynical female detective named Dottie (played by Academy Award winner Susan Sarandon) listens to Olivia, but she too is skeptical. Undaunted, Olivia bravely launches her own investigation, putting herself into perilous situations. Her can-do spirit ignites one extraordinary adventure after another. Can she outwit the bad guys and convince her brother and Dottie of the truth in time to save the day?