Do you remember the movie Blank Check? I had it on VHS and it came in a plastic white VHS case and I watched it way too many times. If you don’t remember, it told the story of Preston Waters, a 12-year old kid who gets his bike run over by an escaped convict and money launderer who leaves him a blank check to pay for damages, which Preston fills out for one million dollars. Due to a series of hijinks, Preston gets a million dollars in cash and then spends it on a castle and a water slide until he learns a valuable lesson about family, I guess. Blank Check was written by Blake Snyder who literally wrote the book on screenwriting, so you’d think it would be a better movie, but it’s not. It’s completely and utterly bananas and even the 90’s isn’t a good enough excuse for how this movie got made. (Fun fact: the film’s director, Rupert Wainwright was apparently on Millionaire Matchmaker in 2010 which is sad, but also good for him?)
Anyway, Blank Check is on Netflix and I watched it so you don’t have to.
So the movie opens with a guy escaping from prison. It is never mentioned again that he escaped from prison.
No one is ever looking for him. The police are not on his trail. No one ever acknowledges that this man is supposed to be in prison.
So escaped convict goes and gets a million dollars in cash that he left welded beneath the floorboards of some abandoned building.
Luckily he also left his welding tools nearby.
So then we meet Preston Waters, this dorky ass kid who wears a tucked in shirt and khakis to a birthday party at an amusement park:
A kid so dorky he fucking named his goldfish Alan.
This is our hero.
Preston’s life is hard because he has two asshole older brothers who are allowed to move all of their junk into his room, and also they steal his life savings with no consequences.
They have a small business called “Hand and Foot Incorporated” which is why their dad lets them be bullies, because he’s so proud of them having a small business.
Preston is sad because he’s poor (like most 12-year-olds) and his dad only gave him $6 to go to a theme park with his friends which isn’t enough money to go on any of the rides, which is a pretty jerk move for his dad.
Does his dad not know how the theme park in their town works? Could Preston really not let him know? Also, where are the kid’s parents during this birthday party? I like to think that if they noticed one poor kid who couldn’t afford to go on any of the rides they would have helped him. This is a lawless, terrible universe.
So the escaped convict goes into a bank and threatens the bank owner into forcing him to launder the money for him so the police can’t trace it. Instead of calling the police on this escaped convict, he agrees to give the million dollars in cash to whoever walks into his office at 1 pm.
And through a series of hijinks, that person is Preston Waters.
This bank teller sees a tiny child come in with a check for a million dollars made out to cash and brings him to the owner of the bank, because that seems like a reasonable thing to waste his time with.
Again, because of hijinks, Preston gets the money, in 10’s it looks like, and puts it in his backpack.
A million dollars in cash would not fit in a child’s backpack. Really, google it. And especially not when the bills are 10’s. But whatever. This is a garbage world where physics don’t apply.
The escaped convict, Mr. Quigley, tries to buy one of those neighborhood castles for $150,000 which even in 1994 shouldn’t be the right amount of money.
And then Preston calls in and offers more money using the automated voice on his Macintosh computer which sounds creepy AF.
The people selling the house do not care that it 100% sounds like a prank call. They do not run his credit or even ask for his first name.
Preston is a 12-year-old who knows what closing costs are.
I hate him so much.
So after he massively underpays for a castle, Preston goes off and has “I’m a 12-year-old with a million dollars” fun with a driver he hired, Henry, who does not question at all why this child has so much money and free time.
Like a goddam weirdo, Henry hangs out and has fun with this child he befriended.
Preston pretends the money is from a rich guy named Mr. Macintosh who just lets him spend it, and Henry barely questions it.
Preston is like, “yes” and that’s the end of that.
Preston is driving in his limo when he sees this hot bank teller jogging by the side of the road so he decides to accost her.
This grown woman is the love interest of the movie.
She comes by the house later and agrees to go out with this child.
Like, a date to a fancy restaurant.
Wearing that dress.
Hugging him in a fountain.
Getting soaking wet.
Meanwhile, Preston has told his parents that his newfound wealth is because he is working for a guy named Mr. Macintosh, and his parents do not question why this wealthy recluse has hired a child and paid him in cash.
Why do any parents think this is O.K.? What do they think Preston’s “job” is? If Mr. Macintosh were real, Preston would 100% be getting molested.
So the criminal tracks down Preston and chases him in a car while shouting some questionable taunts.
Why would you say that to a child?
But Preston gets away and decides to throw a giant birthday party for himself, where he realizes he ran out of money. It has been six days.
The party planner demands all of her money at the party, which doesn’t seem like standard protocol, and when he says he doesn’t have it, she literally goes on stage and says this:
Which, again, does not seem like standard protocol at a party when a party planner hasn’t been paid yet.
So the party is shut down and people just snatch their presents back, like that’s a thing people do.
And Preston’s dad also came to the party and monologs to Preston in a backward-facing chair because he thinks it’s Mr. Macintosh, an eccentric millionaire he’s never met who employs his child.
And then the criminals show up and Preston goes full Home Alone on them even though he had zero time to prepare these traps.
But luckily, the FBI shows up because the fictional “Mr. Macintosh” who has existed in a child’s mind for less than a week is under investigation for fraud, I guess.
They do not acknowledge that Mr. Quigley is an escaped convict, or that the banker has been laundering money. No, this entire sting is for the mysterious Mr. Macintosh.
Except they have no idea who Mr. Macintosh is, because when Quigley claims to be him (again, due to hijinks), the FBI are like, sure, probably, and arrest him, as Mr. Macintosh, not as Quigley the escaped convict.
Oh yeah, and Shay was an FBI agent all along, who has been working at a bank for months (or long enough for them to get posters printed with her anyway) so she would be ready to go for this investigation of a person who a child made up less than a week ago.
And the FBI also arrest Quigley’s henchmen because they were standing next to him, which should not be good enough reason to arrest someone. Literally, they have no idea who those people are.
Again, no mention that this is the escaped convict Quigley who stole the money in the first place. They’re just suspicious of that Macintosh character.
And then this happens which is INSANE!
This isn’t like Big where the woman thinks she’s kissing a grown man. This is a grown lady, an FBI agent, full on mouth kissing a 12-year-old child who is also related to her investigation. How is this okay in ANY UNIVERSE? I AM STILL GROSSED OUT.
And there you have it. Preston is out of money and back to where he started, Quigley will probably be released from custody when they realize he isn’t actually Mr. Macintosh, and the FBI will become embroiled in a major scandal for gross incompetence. And a kid made out with a grown lady.
Oh yeah, now the kid who played Preston keeps getting arrested for DUI’s and assaults.