Directed by David Mickey Evans. Starring Sinbad, Brock Pierce, Blake Boyd, Timothy Busfield, Art La Fleur, Robert Guillaume, Lisa Eichhorn, James Naughton, Fawn Reed. (1996, PG, 101 min.)
REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., Aug. 30, 1996
As kids' comedies go, this one's fairly topical and, better yet, amusing. Sinbad plays a Secret Service agent, Sam Simms, who longs for the plum detail of guarding the president, but Simms' tendency toward self-expression and personal style always seem to get in the way of his career advancement. He cuts corners, wears flashy ties, and disregards petty rules. Then, one day, fortune strikes while in the shopping mall. He springs into action and covers the butt of the son of the president after the kid moons the press photographers following him on a back-to-school shopping excursion. As a result of his quick thinking, Simms is given the job of guarding “the first kid,” Luke Davenport (played by Brock Pierce, who is only one gene-splice away from looking like a Culkin brother -- Home Alone: The White House Adventure, anyone?). Simms manages to see through Luke's bluster and helps him deal with this particularly difficult adolescence. You can't help but like a movie that has its characters doing things like dancing in the White House to Sly & the Family Stone and, moreover, has no fart jokes. Yet First Kid also contains some of the most flagrant product placement for Coca-Cola, some implausible scripting (especially when Simms is derelict in his duties for the better good of allowing Luke to grow on an emotional level), and a strange appearance by Sonny Bono who spends his screen time insisting that he is a legislator and not an entertainer. Director Evans has a definite flair for kids' stories, having also directed The Sandlot. Sinbad, similarly, has a natural ease with this kind of comedy and is responsible for the lion's share of First Kid's good spirit.