Blank Check (originally released as Blank Cheque in the United Kingdom) is a 1994 comedy film directed by Rupert Wainwright, starring Brian Bonsall, Karen Duffy, Miguel Ferrer, James Rebhorn, Tone Lōc, Rick Ducommun, Jayne Atkinson and Michael Lerner and was released by Walt Disney Pictures.
The story begins when convicted bank robber Carl Quigley (Miguel Ferrer) escapes from prison. Soon after his prison break, Quigley enters a warehouse and recovers $1,000,000 he had hidden there sometime before his arrest (although it is unclear exactly how he illegally obtained the money). The film then cuts to 12-year-old Preston Waters (Brian Bonsall), whose father (James Rebhorn) works as an investor for a living and is very frugal with money—so much so that when he is given a blank check from his grandmother for his birthday, his dad fills it out for only $11.00. Plus, when invited to a friend's birthday party at an amusement park, he only has enough tokens to go on the kiddie rides.
After Quigley visits bank president Edward Biderman (Michael Lerner) in his bank office to discuss his plan (along with threatening Biderman's family if he does not comply with it). Quigley left Biderman the stolen money as the bills were consecutive and traceable so he told Biderman his plan to swap the stolen bills for non consecutive ones without suspicion. Quigley explains that his assistant, Juice (Tone Loc) will be stopping by Biderman's office with a check to be cashed for $1,000,000 the next day at 1:00 P.M. After the meeting, Quigley runs over Preston's bicycle in a Jaguar XJ that he has presumably purchased with the stolen money, while Preston was riding out of the bank's parking lot. Pressed for time as he sees a police car patrolling the area, Quigley gives Preston a signed blank check and tells him to give it to his dad so they can buy him a new bike. Instead, Preston fills out the check for $1,000,000 by printing it on his computer. He goes to the bank the next day and is directed to Biderman's office by a teller (as the teller could not cash a check that size herself). Thinking that Preston is Quigley's assistant, Juice, Biderman cashes his check with $1,000,000 from a safe behind a painting.
As Preston is leaving the bank, the real Juice enters Biderman's office with another check for $1,000,000. Realizing that Biderman mistook Preston for Juice, the trio begins a frantic search for Preston. Meanwhile, he embarks on an extreme shopping spree over the course of 6 days, buying a castle-style house (by outbidding Quigley using the voice box on his computer over the phone) along with many other expensive items (limousine service, go-kart track, water slide, etc.). He spends $999,667.83 of the original $1,000,000. Preston covers himself by saying he is making these purchases for a millionaire known as "Macintosh" (named after Preston's computer) who lives in the castle house.
The entire time, Preston was being investigated by FBI agent Shay Stanley (Karen Duffy) (working undercover as a teller at Biderman's bank and Preston's love interest) for money laundering, as the bills he was using to make his purchases were Biderman's watermarked ones. At a birthday party Preston throws for Mr. Macintosh that forced him into debt (it was actually his birthday) leaving only $332.17 in his account, he is forced into a showdown with Quigley, Juice, and Biderman. After the trio manage to capture him and demand to know what happened with the money, he admits Macintosh is a false name, to which Biderman suggests that Quigley can use Preston's purchases and the Macintosh name to give himself a new identity.
When the trio is confronted by the FBI at Preston's castle house, Quigley claims to be Macintosh. However, with the FBI knowing that Mr. Macintosh had been using the watermarked bills, they arrest Quigley, Juice, and Biderman. Preston and Shay share a sweet kiss before parting ways. After Preston gets home his family throws him a birthday party. His father apologizes for being so harsh to him when it came to money.
Why it Sucks
- Heavy emphasis on materialism.
- Lack of humor.
- The relationship between Preston and Shay (a kid hero and a female FBI agent) has been criticized due to a massive age difference. There's even one scene where they kiss on the lips.
- The protagonist's family is completely unlikable - the brothers steal his money, the parents gave Preston little cash, favor the older two brothers because they are starting a business, and don't care that Preston almost got run over by a car. Even though they made amends with him near the end of the film, it's still not considered a redeeming quality at all.
- Some scenes were copied straight from the first two Home Alone movies.
- The story is completely bland and unoriginal.
- Blatant product placement (Jaguar, Apple, etc.) that is shoehorned into the plot (Preston disguises himself as "Mr. Macintosh").
- Many of the characters are incredibly dumb, for example the real estate sellers don't recognise that "Mr. Macintosh" is really a text-to-speech program, which weren't sophisticated in the 90s.
- Surprisingly inappropriate dialogue (Juice once threatens the bank manager with a bullet through his head).
- The final confrontation at the end is pretty good.
- Although Preston can be unlikeable at times, he's kindhearted and has a pretty good sense of humor.
- Rick Ducommun, who plays the chauffer/sidekick of the lead has some funny moments.