Armed and Innocent (1994) Kate Jackson, Gerald McRaney, Andrew Starnes, Jim Haynie Movie Review

Armed and Innocent (1994)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Andrew Starnes in Armed and Innocent (1994)

Home Alone for Real

Usually after school Chris Holland (Kate Jackson - Empty Cradle) would go home and either his mum, Patsy (Kate Jackson - Empty Cradle), or his father, Bobby (Gerald McRaney - Someone She Knows), would be there but this time he was home alone. Unfortunately for Chris three guys decide to break in to the place and whilst scared 11 year old Chris ends up getting his father's rifle and killing two of the robbers in self defence. Whilst Bobby thinks his son is a bona fido hero for taking on the robbers it leaves Chris deeply traumatised and struggling as others also want to reward him for what he did. But with one of the robbers having escaped and their leader in prison both Chris and his mum are frightened that they are going to come back for revenge leading to family tension.

Forget swinging paint pots, blow torch booby traps and heated door handles because in "Armed and Innocent", which is based on a true story, we see Chris, who is home alone, reach for a rifle to defend his home from three robbers. But in truth watching Chris defend his home is not the focus of "Armed and Innocent" nor is the fact that the one who escaped along with the gang's leader come looking for revenge. Instead the focus is on the aftermath for the family as we have Chris being traumatized by what he did, his mum trying to protect her son from the media and then his dad who refuses to see his son as anyone but a hero and believes he can just get back to being just a normal kid.

Now to be honest "Armed and Innocent" is a decent look at a unique situation especially when Chris returns to school and not only having a police bodyguard stationed at the school but of course all the kids staring at him. It manages to cover a lot of areas including the mentality of those who want to praise and reward Chris for what he did such as being made captain of the football team which in turn has consequences when others become resentful. In truth the occasional switch to seeing how the gang leader wants justice actually fails to add danger to the movie and dilutes the focus on watching Chris deal with what he did and the feeling of guilt he has whilst others want to praise him. Although we do get that element of the family living in fear and that in turn causes resentment as Chris's sister is upset at how their lives have changed because of what he did.

What this all boils down to is that "Armed and Innocent" is an interesting look at a rather unique situation which does a good job of looking at not only a child dealing with the trauma of having killed someone but then also the consequences of his actions as some want to reward him for being a hero and can't understand why he would be traumatised.