The Kid was a box office hit in 2000, but critical reception was mixed. The movie’s Rotten Tomatoes score is a dismal 49% with several critics calling the film overly sentimental. However, one reviewer who was a fan of The Kid and Willis’ work in it was acclaimed film critic Roger Ebert.
In his review, Ebert praised Willis’ performance in the film, and noted that he elevated the movie above standard kids’ fare. “It’s a sweet film, unexpectedly involving, and shows again that Willis, so easily identified with action movies, is gifted in the areas of comedy and pathos: This is a cornball plot, and he lends it credibility just by being in it,” the critic wrote.
Ebert was quick to acknowledge that The Kid is by no means a perfect film, but he, like so many audience members at the time, found plenty to enjoy in the big-hearted, genuinely funny movie. Unlike other children’s movies from the same era, The Kid hasn’t exactly endured, but that’s all the more reason to check it out on Disney+.
If you know Willis as an action star first and foremost, then you’re in for a pleasant surprise with this little film. Acting opposite an equally game Breslin, the Die Hard actor perfectly nails the mixture of frustration and astonishment that would no doubt come along with encountering your younger self, and, as an added bonus, he sells the film’s message that it’s never too late to change your life without breaking a sweat.
For fans of Willis and early aughts comedies, The Kid really shouldn’t be missed.