Film Review: Fugitive at 17 (2012, dir. Jim Donovan)


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It’s been awhile since I did any of those Amazon Prime Recommendation Worm posts. Anyone who has read them remembers that the posters that are made up for the indie foreign films are often ridiculously misleading. With that in mind, lets look at the disc and menu for this movie.

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She does run right at the beginning of the movie. That’s about it. Oh, and there are no explosions in this film. Let’s take a look at the DVD menu.

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Again, we have those hilarious explosions that don’t exist in the movie. Also, that isn’t her laptop that she pretends to use in the movie. I love the crosshairs because I’m nearly 100% positive that no one shoots at her. I’m also quite sure that there are never choppers used in pursuit of her.

What can we conclude here? That they put “Fugitive” in the title and tried to sell it as if it were The Fugitive (1993). Yes, there is a comparable scene to the beard cutting one in The Fugitive. At least the DVD and the menu are honest that actor Marie Avgeropoulos is nowhere near 17. She was actually 25 when she made this movie. However, they had a good reason for it that I will explain later, so let’s dive in.

After showing our main character Holly (Marie Avgeropoulos) run away into an alley for the title card, we cut to 24 hours earlier in Philadelphia. This is when we get introduced to Holly and her underwhelming laptop.

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She has just installed a new OS so that “this puppy has more processing power than a brand-new computer.” It’s not BackTrack Linux running in a virtual machine that an actual hacker/pen-tester might use. Too bad. I was hoping they would at least have her do some war driving to find a WiFi network to use or set up a WiFi honeypot to capture the network traffic of the bad guy. Nope. She’ll just do bullshit.

Speaking of bullshit. Holly’s friend wants her to hack into the university she has applied to in order to see if she has been accepted. That means it’s time for Holly to show off her ability to look at screenshots inside of a browser and look intently as green text goes by her face.

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Yes, it is a screenshot sitting on the computer’s local hard drive of a browser showing a college’s website that she is viewing in another browser. Now that text starts to roll by.

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I love that she just instantly installs a backdoor. Not to give Tinfinger…I mean Blackhat (2015) too much credit, but at least Thor did a phishing attack to get the password to the system he wanted to break into. However, I do like this.

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Somebody actually knows that deleting things like IDS and firewall logs on your way out is a good idea in order to cover your tracks. Credit where credit is due. Keeping with Accused at 17 and Stalked at 17, Holly’s friend invites her to a college party, which she agrees to attend.

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Now we meet who I call Detective Padding (Christina Cox) and her son (Dylan Van Wylick). I call her that because while she is the one chasing Holly and will come to her rescue at the end, she only exists so that when they need to extend the runtime of the movie, they can cut to her.

Now it’s off to the party. That’s where we meet Dan (Daniel Rindress-Kay) over stealing WiFi from the factory next door to the party.

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Holly pokes around on her cellphone and tells him to try MillerEmployeeGeneral. It’s not likely that would actually work, but those would be the first kind of passwords that you would try before you’d do more involved things. What I love about this whole thing is that they now show her cellphone screen that says she is on cellular, not WiFi.

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Nothing can top “Logan’s Hacking Screen” from the Garage Sale Mystery series or almost every line from the hilariously bad Ex Machina (2015), but this is pretty funny.

Holly’s friend goes backstage with Spencer Oliphant (Casper Van Dien). He slips her some drugs. Unfortunately, she has an allergic reaction of sorts to the drugs that kills her. Fortunately, Holly’s pompadour sense goes off.

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One thing leads to another, and we find out why they cast a 25 year-old.

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When this film decides it’s time for Van Dien to get rough, he is quite rough with her. I’m sure they figured they’d play it safe by casting a 25 year-old rather than one who was only 18 or 19.

Because plot, she winds up getting accused of this whole thing since there was some sort of history of her stealing drugs using her imaginary hacking skills for her sick grandmother and those drugs winding up in the hands of her dead friend.

Now we get another example of her hacking skills. It just might blow your mind.

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Detective Padding gets a call from her son who has dropped his cellphone in the toilet. She actually follows up those lines by asking him how he dropped it in the toilet. I would say that she got her knowledge of boyhood from the film Boyhood (2014), but that was still two years out. Regardless of the fact that she didn’t know her son was masturbating when the phone slipped from his hand, she tells him that they had to confiscate the sorbent along with the rest of the drugs they found. Just kidding, she doesn’t know what to do, so that’s why Holly tells him to remove the battery and the SIM card, clean it off, and then put it in rice, which will act as an absorbent like sorbent does. Of course, that does depend on the phone not having already shorted out. If you want to see a hilarious example of that, then look up the TWiT episode (not sure which show) where Leo Laporte decided to test this stuff you coated your phone in to make it waterproof by dropping it in a glass of water. You could see it short out right away. The best thing about that was that the Apple Genius he took the phone to had seen the episode.

Meanwhile, back in the film, they couldn’t afford a train, so they put her in a van to be transferred. She breaks free when the other prisoners are saved by friends who attack the van. That’s when she decides to recreate the beard cutting scene from The Fugitive. Except Holly doesn’t have a beard to cut, so she dyes her hair instead.

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She also changes clothes and gets her fancy laptop. Now she decides that the place to start is to track down Dan from the party. That’s why she goes to the school website and types “Central University, Employee Log in” into the school site’s search box.

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That gets her right into the student records. As bad as Blackhat was, at least somebody looked up actual Unix commands that Michael Mann could cut to closeup shots of all the time. Again though, credit where credit is due. Dan comes home and…

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finds her in his place already. I love that he asks her how she got in. He got into the “Central University of Pennsylvania” how exactly? Sadly, they will basically say it was due to her ability to pick locks instead of her simply socially engineering someone into letting her in as a girlfriend.

Detective Padding and Holly’s mom try to pretend they are part of the story now before we cut to Dan and Holly as they try to track down Van Dien. It turns out that some guitar players grow out their nails. Van Dien’s long nails are the only thing she remembers strongly about him. When I played, I always kept them short like I do for typing. However, they’ll explain that when you are trying to perform something like Spanish Caravan by The Doors, then having all your fingers on one of your hands as picks is handy.

They figure out the name of a faculty member who teaches music. That means it’s time for Holly to get in contact with Detective Padding so that she can check him out after they are sure he has his nails grown out. It being Lifetime, she interrupts Padding’s son’s near his downward spiral into the world of Internet porn.

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She is using something called Cloud Dial. I guess that’s Lifetime’s version of Skype. Holly eventually gets Padding on the line and it’s so cute how they try to have a Harrison Ford/Tommy Lee Jones conversation, but we need to move on.

As always: Of course Holly quickly finds this teacher and he leads her right to Van Dien. Before paying him a visit, she decides to remind us of a scene from Sneakers (1992).

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To get to her grandmother in the hospital, she pretends to be a singing telegram. It was better in Sneakers when they used several people to overwhelm the staff till one of them gave in and just buzzed in Robert Redford. This version does has Kate Drummond from the Flower Shop Mystery series at the desk though since this movie was filmed in Canada.

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At this point, we can jump over a lot. Basically it’s a bunch of scenes to insure that we get the running time out to a feature film, and make sure Detective Padding and Grandma are still around.

It all comes down to a showdown between Detective Padding, Holly, and Van Dien. Van Dien loses. A quick party for Grandma is held before the movie ends abruptly. Then the first person who is credited is the “Financial Consultant”.

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After that, it’s the standard “players” credits for these “at 17” movies.

Out of the four “at 17” movies I have watched recently, I think it’s a tie between Stalked at 17 and this one. That is if you must watch one of them that I have reviewed.

Music Video of the Day: Rusty Cage by Soundgarden (1992, dir. Eric Zimmerman)


While I certainly enjoy spotlighting music videos that I really know, or enjoyed as a kid, part of doing these posts is personal discovery for me. I have owned a copy of Badmotorfinger since people actually bought CDs. It was the dark ages. I’m not one of those people to act high and mighty about something stupid like that. Although, it is neat to be holding the liner notes in my hands right now. This is the first time I’ve looked at them. That tells you how much I cared about that stuff. It actually has the lyrics for each of the songs written on it divided by a triangle like the one on the cover.

The music video is entirely new to me. I would never have thought to take a group like Soundgarden, and have them playing their song called Rusty Cage in a pristine white room. Although, it does contrast well with the outside where the action takes place. Frankly the outside of the room looks like an Alice in Chains video. In fact, you could say that inside that shack is an era of music about to be nuked out of existence by bands like Soundgarden and Alice in Chains, so it’s appropriate that at the end, the shack is destroyed by a car.

Also, am I the only one who looks at the shack they are in and thinks of Doctor Who? Probably because of that running joke that Internet movie reviewer Phelous used to do with a shack in his yard as his Tardis.

The song itself is one of my favorite Soundgarden songs purely for the guitar. I am a sucker for a great solo, riff, etc. on the guitar. I love the speed at which the music video cuts to go along with the speed of the guitar. That’s another thing I am a sucker for: speed in music. That speed can be the lyrics too. I don’t think I have mentioned it elsewhere, but for 2nd grade show and tell, I sang the opening song to The Music Man (1962) from memory. Again, the dark ages because me and my dad had to transcribe the lyrics from the movie for me to memorize them. I loved the speed at which the lyrics were sang. Here it is hopefully.

That’s not to say that the rest of it isn’t quality. I mean it is Chris Cornell singing back before the musical apocalypse of the late 90s destroyed children’s ability to recognize a great voice. American Idol hasn’t helped over the years either.

Finally, Johnny Cash covered this song too. This was news to me. Here’s that song for comparisons sake.