‘A father in distress’: 25 years of the delusional film in which Arnold Schwarzenegger saved Christmas but not his career as a family movie star

The year 1996 was very important in the career of Arnold Schwarzenegger, but not for positive reasons. It was then that he released ‘Eraser’, the last film of his prime as an action hero, also when he hit theaters ‘A father in distress’, a delusional proposal in which he saved Christmas but cannot be said to have done the same with his career as a family movie star.

Schwarzenegger had diversified his career in previous years by participating in titles such as ‘The twins hit twice’, ‘Nursery Cop’ or ‘Junior’, but the latter had been a failure at the box office, sowing doubt about his future at the forefront of this type of comedies. It can be said that he played a lot with ‘A father in distress’ and the play did not go too well.

Go for Turbo Man

Surely more than one of you remembers ‘A father in distress’ as turbo man movie, since, with the exception of a few minutes focused on showing how neglected she has her family in general and her son in particular, everything in her revolves around the difficulties that her protagonist has to get a doll of that superhero who drives crazy children.

Already in its conception there is something in ‘A father in distress’ that does not quite squareAs Howard asked more of an actor with a more everyday physique rather than a bodybuilder like him. That is something that was taken into account in the comedies in which he had previously participated and worked at the box office such as ‘The twins hit twice’ and ‘Nursery cop’, but in ‘Junior’ it was also shocking to see him in such a role and As I mentioned before, the result was a failure.

A Father In Trouble Arnold Schwarzenegger

“A Father in Trouble” also did not bring box office joy to its producers, thus ending Schwarzenegger’s career as a family movie star. He has not starred in any film in that vein since, limiting himself to making cameos in titles such as ‘Around the world in 80 days’ or ‘The Kid & I’.

The funny thing is that it wasn’t a hit either -it cost 75 million, although some sources reduce it to 60, and amassed 129 during its time in theaters-, since most likely, at least, it ended up making money thanks to the domestic market, but here it was looking for an instant Christmas classic and the result was not that.

Full chestnut

A Father In Trouble Image

‘A father in distress’ was done in a hurry. In april 2016 1996 they began to shoot and in November it reached theaters in the United States. This is something that is especially noticeable in scenes where special effects have a special presence. Already in their time they gave the cante and views today even more. But it is also very striking that the film at all times gives the feeling of being made on the fly, as if there were only a series of ideas and no concern in stringing them together in a reasonable way.

And it is that the script of ‘A father in distress’ quickly becomes a succession of bizarre situations which its protagonist has to face, but connecting them in a questionable way. There is no type of logical progression here, something simply happens that drives the main character forward, be it a stranger sharing information that he is not really interested in that no one knows or the chance of a radio contest.

That means that the interest of ‘A father in distress’ is mainly limited to how fun these little missions are to get the precious Turbo Man. There is also a small charge of criticism against consumerism, but diluted by excesses, which curiously tend to work better the more extreme they are taken, with the pitched battle against the army of Santa Claus as the best proof of it.

A Father In Trouble Scene

Around all this, a relationship arises that is not particularly well treated from the script but that becomes the other great common thread of the film. I mean the sympathetic rivalry that arises between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad, since a peculiar chemistry arises between the two that they themselves took advantage of during the filming by improvising several of their dialogues. In addition, the heart of ‘A father in distress’ is the two of them giving life to parents willing to do whatever it takes to make their children happy, even if that leads them to act in ways that are difficult to justify.

Less interesting is everything related to the family of its protagonist, with a Jake Lloyd before becoming Anakin for ‘Star Wars: The Phantom Menace’ unable to get the sympathy of the public or that curious subplot with Phil Hartman trying to benefit the protagonist’s wife, where the only thing that works is the work of the actor who voiced Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz in the original version of ‘The Simpson’.

It is as if the director Brian Levant, fresh out of dealing with the movie ‘The Flintstones’, I never finished knowing very clearly what tone you want to give the film, something that reaches its climax in a somewhat chaotic outcome that also has no problem loading any kind of credibility that could be left to what happens.

There it could be argued that ‘A father in distress’ seeks a certain logic typical of cartoons, but only does it when it interests him, thus causing a mess in which the only possible solution is to accept everything that is happening. In return, there is always a sense of dynamism, something that is also reflected in his extremely tight footage, which invites you to let yourself go.

With a certain charm despite everything

A Father In Trouble Father Son

What remains at the end with ‘A father in distress’ is a somewhat crazy family adventure. It is not especially inspired by any section but it is not an insurmountable disaster in anything. Schwarzenegger’s charisma helps somewhat, but his own signing was already something that began to unbalance this unique family show that, despite everything, has a certain charm, which is why it has not ended up forgotten.

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‘A father in distress’: 25 years of the delusional film in which Arnold Schwarzenegger saved Christmas but not his career as a family movie star