50. Haley is angry their money is stolen and appears to be cutting her wrists on a barbed wire fence
After rednecks steal all of their money, she and Fred Savage have an argument about what to do next. During this exchange she is in the background standing next to a barbed wire fence and appears to be rubbing it against her wrists. This represents her inner angst. She is upset about more then just the money. She is angry at all the screwballs life has lobbed in her direction. What she needs is to learn how to lighten up with the help of a free wheeling good time guy and his crazy Nintendo playing brother.
45. First time we see Video Armageddon
Prepare to shit your pants. Video Armageddon is mothertrucking intense. It reminds me of the battle arena from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. Ok, maybe it’s nothing like Mad Max and that is not the best comparison, but that is only because nothing compares to Video Armageddon. Fucking walls open up and steam appears. But really, if you are going to debut a game about a fat Italian who can use a raccoon tail to fly, there is no more appropriate way.
Actually, now that I think about it, this is a lot like the Videozone from the final round of Nick Arcade, which is fitting.
40. Haley reveals that she lives in a trailer
When they finally go to Haley’s house, they find out it is not the nice place she described it as. In fact, it is a trailer in the middle of the desert. It’s not even in a trailer park or small town. There is her house and no other buildings for hundreds of miles.
On the roof of her home, Haley reveals to Fred Savage that she used to have a normal house, but her mom gambled away all of their money, and then it is implied that her dad killed her mom with a screwdriver. Haley is upset, and Fred Savage tries to make sense of the situation by comparing her plight to The Legend of Zelda, by saying she is like Link and Zelda is like a house. The analogy may not make sense, but Haley merely points out that The Legend of Zelda is sexist because having a trained warrior save a kidnapped head of state with no combat training is sexist.
Fred Savage, being a smooth operator, then tries to kiss Haley, because as we all know the time to kiss a woman is when she goes off on a rant about sexism. Haley will have none of this, saying she will never kiss a boy. “A girl maybe?” Fred Savage inquires. Not wanting to look like a dyke, Haley start making out with him.
The shot cuts to the next day when Haley and Fred Savage enter the trailer while buttoning up their clothes. It is then implied that they fucked hardcore on the roof. Haley’s screams of passion presumably kept Jimmy awake all night in a cold sweat and made it possible for the bounty hunter to track them down.
37. Spanky thought the bounty hunter touched Haley’s breasts and was jealous
Spanky needs to start hanging around with people his own age. Fred Savage and Haley are probably the first friends he has had in years. At least he’s better than old man in the speedo.
36. The bright lights of Reno
After a long, hard journey, our three heroes finally make it to the big city of Reno, where they plan on preparing Jimmy for Video Armageddon. When they first arrive, a montage of the local sites gives off the excitement and drama that can only be found in Reno, Nevada, or as it’s also known, the Las Vegas of the west.
32. Fred Savage has money hidden in his underpants
Most people hide money in their shoes, but Fred Savage doesn’t care that people are going to handle money that smells like his crotch. Haley gets mad that Fred is holding out with the money in his undies and tells him to dish it out. Oh the sexual back and forth!
31. Nick and Dad share a bed
While on the road, Nick and Dad have to stay in hotels. Sometimes things don’t go as planned. Not all hotels have two beds in the room. Nick and Dad find themselves forced to share a small bed, a pretty awkward situation. In this scene, Dad wants to sleep but can’t because Nick is reading the Bible from the nightstand. Nick then tries to tell Dad that even though the situation is far from ideal he is glad that they are spending time together. Dad, however, is far too gruff to admit he loves his son and reacts in a way just short of telling Nick to fuck off. This angers Nick into playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the Nintendo. Anybody who has played that game knows it’s so frustrating that it isn’t going to put him in a better mood.
30. Universal Studios chase
Fred, Haley and Jimmy are chased through Universal Studios by Putnam the child bounty hunter. The visitors at Universal Studios don’t care that a strange man is chasing three children he is clearly not related to and don't intervene. They are just pissed that they didn’t have enough money to go to Disneyworld and had to settle. They are all depressed and jaded.
But the chase through the theme park is one of the all time most exciting movie chases ever, right up there with Homeward Bound II and Smokey and the Bandit. I don’t even get the point of Smokey and the Bandit. He’s supposed to go through all that trouble to drive cross country to pick up Coors beer? What the fuck, that’s not even worth the trouble of driving to the gas station. God damn it, find something better to do, Bandit. I get that in the 70’s Coors beer wasn’t available in the eastern US so people back east thought it was exotic, like Cuban cigars. But then the beer became available nationwide and people finally realized how shitty it is. So Smokey and the Bandit just looks unbelievably fucking ridiculous now.
Ok, where was I? Oh yeah, the chase is pretty tits. They run through the King Kong ride and a burning building. But Fred Savage said he’s a desperate man. Also, Universal Studios has no security.
29. Dad plays Nintendo
The morning after Nick and Dad have their fight in the hotel, Nick wakes up to find Dad playing the Nintendo. He is ecstatic because he not only got the scroll weapon, but almost beat Mecha Turtle. He now understands why everybody else loves Nintendo. His eyes have been opened, much like a religious awakening, except unlike religion, which is boring, he likes Nintendo.
28. Fred Savage says “50,000? You got 50,000 in Double Dragon?”
He kicks ass at Double Dragon.
27. First time Jimmy said "California"
“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
“I am Spartacus.”
“Luke, I am your father.”
All great lines that are almost as powerful as the first time you hear Jimmy say "California."
26. Some kid says, “He’ll never beat Lucas.”
Who is this Lucas and how will he affect the story? He must be one hell of a video gamer if he is supposedly better than a child with autism.
25. Spanky gambles for the children
When you need money fast the only sensible thing to do is gamble. But kids can’t gamble so what are they going to do? They gamble though a large pedophile truck driver named Spanky. Basically, they stand in the lobby of the casino yelling instructions to Spanky who is playing craps. They clean out the casino before security catches on to their charade.
24. Dad sets up Nintendo in another mechanic's place and yells, “I just beat the water devil!”
One subplot of the movie is how the dad has become addicted to Nintendo. He went from someone who scoffs at these toys to becoming addicted to them like he was a Democrat and Nintendo was cut and run. Oh, take THAT liberals!
Anyway, Dad really loves Legend of Zelda and the first Ninja Turtles game. Playing video games is okay when you are a kid and have no responsibilities, but this man has a family to support, at least the family he doesn’t keep in a retarded kids home. This is going to be a problem because we see that Dad values playing Nintendo more than resuming the search for his missing sons.
When they leave the mechanic's, Dad accidentally leaves his RF adapter behind. Now there will have no more Nintendo for him because component video cables haven’t been invented yet. Dad is going to suffer through some painful withdrawals.
23. Lucas has a perplexing shirt on
22. Jimmy does bad in the contest and then good
Like any good be-all-you-can-be-competition-of-a-lifetime movie, there has to be a moment of doubt whether our hero will win the day. D2: The Mighty Ducks had Team USA lose their initial game to those evil fucking Icelanders, Rocky lost his title to Mr. T in Rocky III, and the Nerds almost didn’t get revenge. This sets suspense for the movie.
21. Dad yells, “That son of a bitch!” while ramming the bounty hunter's car
Dad is sick of all the shit the bounty hunter is throwing at him so he does what any one of us would in this situation, ram the back of the bounty hunter’s car while screaming “That son of a bitch!” Sure, Dad may have rammed the back of the bounty hunter’s car with the front of his car, which resulted in his car being totaled and the bounty hunter driving away, but he still did the right thing. How dare the bounty hunter try to find preteen runaways whom he has been hired to find.
20. The arcade is full of Nintendo games
Something tells me this movie is nothing but a big advertisement for Nintendo.
19. They play Ninja Gaiden at Video Armageddon
A great competition needs a great game. Ninja Gaiden fits this bill nicely. It is not only a joy to play, but watching other people play it is a joy as well.
18. It is announced that they will be playing a new game
Now our heroes' scheme to cheat by consulting the Nintendo Power Line won’t help them now.
17. Lucas reveals that the kids are going to the video game contest
Lucas is a bad seed isn’t he? He plays video games, owns a lot of sunglasses, makes fun of Jimmy’s retardation...but you know what? He isn’t all bad. When he finds out that Fred Savage, Haley, and Jimmy are runaways he does the noble thing and reveals they are going to Video Armageddon. This introduces a new side to Lucas’ character. He is legitimately concerned for their well being. Lucas knows that life on the road is hard. He doesn’t want them to be raped or murdered. Most movies would have been content with leaving Lucas as a one dimensional villain, but this act shows that there is more to him then what first meets the eye.
16. Sweet video game montage in the Reno arcade
How about all those arcade machines contain the NES versions of the games?
We here at Dumb Baby also wondered how it was possible for our heroes to live in a hotel in Reno on $400, but I think casinos don’t charge much for rooms because they want to make money from gambling. Or maybe they do, I’ve never been to Nevada and if I did I’d spend my time at the whore houses instead of the casinos.
15. Jimmy is gone!
After Jimmy is defeated by Lucas, the three of them spend the night in an abandoned drive in theater. The next morning, Fred Savage and Haley wake up to find that Jimmy is missing! Where could he be? Turns out he is outside of the building they were in stacking popcorn boxes that the drive in decided to just leave lying around. This is reminiscent of a scene earlier in the movie where he builds towers out of Duplos because that’s what crazy people do. Fred Savage is upset because this shows that Jimmy is not getting better. Who would have guessed that playing video games is not as effective a cure for mental disease as being placed in a home where his behavior could be monitored by doctors?
14. Semis block the road, keeping Bounty Hunter from taking away Jimmy
This may completely illegal and unsafe, but at least it prevents a guy who is just doing his job from bringing those kids home safely. Hell, I think we the viewers should side with the bounty hunter, no matter how the movie tries to present itself. In the real world, I don’t think it’s possible for three young children to go halfway across the country and not wind up dead or molested, or at least not have to change their clothes after nine days.
13. Arcade people attack them
Some punks that Jimmy beat chase him down in order to get back there twenty dollars. During the ensuing struggle, Jimmy drops the lunchbox he was carrying the entire movie, and it is revealed that it is full of pictures of his dead twin sister. Jimmy has been carrying these with him as a memorial of sorts ever since her death. Haley pays off the punks so that she, Jimmy, and Fred Savage can cover important plot points. This scene is important for two reasons. First, it establishes Jimmy’s motivation for going to California. Secondly, one of the punks steals Jimmy’s hat. Which Nick and Dad recognize, which leads to them finding out about Video Armageddon.
12. Jimmy says something other than California
This is good because it shows us Jimmy knows more than one word.
11. Jimmy is in Video Armageddon when they open the doors to the studio
After the intense chase scene through Universal Studios, the trio find themselves in the air vents over Video Armageddon. The event is going to begin, but Jimmy isn’t there. Then, as the doors open he is standing inside. Somehow he got down from the air vents into Video Armageddon. How he did it is a mystery that adds to the exotic mystique of the movie.
10. Fred Savage knows about the warp zone despite never seeing the game before
How does Fred know this? No one has ever played Super Mario Brothers 3 before. And if he knows so much, why isn’t he up there playing? These are the eternal mysteries of Video Armageddon.
9. The Ending
After Video Armageddon is won and Jimmy’s sister's pictures are left in the dinosaur, there is nowhere to go but home. Haley is not brought to her home though. She goes back with Fred Savage to live as his concubine. She’s better off with them anyway, her parents obviously neglect her.
8. First time Super Mario Brothers 3 is revealed
Super Mario Brothers 3 was the Da Vinci Code, Green Day and Desperate Housewives of its day--times a billion. This was the game's debut to the public and the movie’s main selling point.
7. Jimmy finds the “Magic Flute”
As time winds down, Jimmy finds himself behind in points and losing lives. There is only one solution, to use the magic flute.* Sure, some people would say that going to a harder level would make it more difficult to get points, but you know what, none of those fuckers won motherfucking Video Armageddon so shut up yo face.
* Normally it’s called a warp whistle, but Haley refers to it as a magic flute. Given that the game had not been released yet, it is understandable that she won’t know the name of some of the items.
6. First time we see Lucas
He’s a bad mothertrucker with a pube mustache and a travel pack of Nintendo games. He also has a thick jacket and sunglasses. The sunglasses make sense because it’s Nevada, but the jacket doesn’t make any sense because it’s Nevada. He must be sweaty as hell in that. This explains why he is so angry when he meets our heroes. He refers to Jimmy as the Wizard, the only reference to the title. He then asks if Jimmy is a poster boy for something. I don’t know what that means, but he plays Nintendo on his front porch which is pretty sweet.
5. Haley yells that the bounty hunter touched her breasts
The bounty hunter grabs Jimmy in the Reno hotel arcade. What are Haley and Fred Savage suppose to do? They can’t overpower the guy. He may not be able to take out Dad in combat but he sure can kick the asses of a couple of children. That’s why Haley pulls out her trump card. She accuses the bounty hunter of touching her breasts. Now casino security can tolerate kidnapping, but touching 12 year old boobies is another matter. They take the bounty hunter out back and proceed to beat his ass.
4. Jimmy gets the star at the end of the level which puts him in the lead. He wins
This is when most low budget movies of this sort would bust out “We Are the Champions” by Queen. But the producers for The Wizard blew their music budget getting the rights to Patsy Cline. She’s a real tenacious bitch when it comes to negotiating the movie rights to her songs, and The Wizard had to pay a high price for “Leavin’ on Your Mind”. So Queen was out.
Still, this was pretty awesome and since Jimmy won, he will not have to go back to the retarded kids home. His parents understand he can make lots of money on the video game competition circuit. His parents may even remarry because of this, the movie ends hopeful about the prospects. So, yeah, if your parents are divorced, just run away from home with your brother and win a video game contest and then your life will get better and your parents will get back together, even if your mother has already remarried.
Since they are not going to keep Jimmy in the retard home, they should at least remember to get him some sort of care worker. He has pretty bad autism and is going to need serious help to develop normally. Hell, keeping him at that home was probably for the best, it’s not like his parents have the ability to look after him, they have work to go to and Zelda games to play. Maybe his dad will quit his job to play Chip and Dale with Jimmy all day. That is both what they really want now.
3. Jimmy sees dinosaurs
On the way home, Jimmy starts screaming "California!" California? What is the nature of this outburst? Nobody knows. They pull over by the dinosaur statues that Pee Wee Herman had sex in during Pee Wee’s Big Adventure and he runs toward them. Inside, he pulls out a picture of the entire family at the dinosaur.
During a past family road trip to visit famous scenes from the Pee Wee movie, they stopped here. To Jimmy this is California, the last time they were all together and happy before his sister died. He lays the box of memories inside the dinosaur. Now her soul can rest. Jimmy’s insanity will soon be cured. All is well in the world.
2. The car ride home
This is a very sentimental scene, which occurs right after the visit to the dinosaur park, which was even more sentimental. So the movie ends with much sentiment. Haley kisses the boys and Jimmy kisses her back. Sweet, Jimmy got to first base, he is no longer stuck at home plate. I’m jealous.
The movie ends with us wondering if they are going to take Haley home with them. They don’t drop her off at her house; they just drive off to Utah. Haley has a father you guys. If you don’t drop her off, you are guilty of kidnapping. And you don’t need Haley around when Jimmy is better at video games than her. I guess you would want to keep Haley since she is still really good at games and could clean up on the women’s league. Fred Savage is the child who is useless.
1. First time we see the Power Glove
Jimmy is flying high on his way to Video Armageddon. Businessmen, random kids in diners, nobody can stop him. Then he comes upon Lucas, a bad ass in a leather jacket. He makes fun of Jimmy, hits on Haley, and makes it known that he is the kind of guy you don’t want to mess with on a Saturday night. The question is, can he play video games? Can he out play Jimmy? Yes, yes he can, but not by himself. No Lucas pulls out a weapon of ultimate power: the Power Glove.
The scene is sheer cinematic beauty. Lucas triumphantly opens the metal case that holds the Power Glove. You can tell by his eyes that he already knows he is going to win. In the background one of his underlings hooks up the Nintendo. Hollywood Squares plays on the screen, a precursor of the tragedy about to befall Jimmy. Rad Racer is no match for the power of the Power Glove. Lucas plows through the game with the grace of a gazelle. After finishing his winning run he looks Jimmy straight in the eye.
“I love the Power Glove, it’s so bad,” he croons. There is no man in the world who is cooler then Lucas at this moment.
“Yeah well, just keep your Power Glove off her pal,” Fred Savage replies, trying to maintain a little of his masculinity, but it is too late. If Lucas wanted to, he could have sex with Haley right at that moment. Fred Savage would just have to sit there and watch them do it. Lucas is more man than Fred Savage will ever be.
This is all too much for Jimmy. Even his dementia ridden mind understands the basics of arithmetic.
Lucas + Power Glove = Unbeatable
He runs away. Runs from his shortcomings, his failures, his deepest fears. He is no Wizard. At that moment the only Wizard is Lucas, and the Power Glove is his Necromancer Staff.
This is the moment that cements Lucas as the biggest challenge in Jimmy’s road to victory. It is only through practice, determination, and the prohibition of the Power Glove during tournament play that even gives him a chance. A chance that most viewers of The Wizard will assume he will fail at, for Lucas, and his Power Glove, are just that intimidating. Run away Jimmy. You don’t deserve to be in the Power Glove’s presence. Only Lucas has that right. Just consider yourself lucky he gave you the opportunity to be on the same porch as it. Maybe someday you will be man enough to wear the glove, but not today. Today only Lucas is a man.