Blank Check was perhaps the most confusing film of the 1990s. Which is saying something.
Even as a seven-year-old, the holes of this film's plot were as sophomoric and confusing as the science behind black holes in this year's Interstellar. There are so many questions that remain unanswered and flaws in logic that can't be mended with suspension of disbelief. When all's said and done, it's a movie where a 30-year-old woman kisses a 12-year-old boy on the mouth. It's a film riddled with unbelievable characters and a shocking amount of attempted child-murder.
Nothing made sense in 1994 when I first watched it in theaters, and it made even less sense 20 years later as I watched—and paused 17 times for some reflection—an illegally downloaded version off my laptop.
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0:01:23: First of all, the opening music sounds like it’s out of Terminator 2 or Predator. This was legitimately billed as a kids movie with a PG rating.
0:02:00: This is the film's antagonist, Quigley—he just asked an extremely well-hidden briefcase full of money: “Did you miss me?”
This is Preston Waters—perhaps the least happy 12-year-old in the entire world. He's miserable because he has no money. He's not poor, nor is his family, he just physically does not have money in his pockets.
This begs the question: why does he need money?
0:02:57: Preston's brothers are terrible and somehow started a business called “Hand In Foot.” (No report on what they actually do.) Also, their dad somehow endorses and supports this mystery business.
0:07:04: This point of the movie is a long (seriously long) montage of all of Preston’s friends having fun at this amusement park while Preston is left out the entire time. Why did these kids invite Preston to the amusement park if they all clearly hate him?
0:07:40: The parents referenced long-distance phone calls and how expensive they are.
0:10:12: Quigley almost runs over Preston with his car and then hurriedly leaves him a blank check (see: title of film) when he notices a cop car is nearby. Meanwhile, Quigley has paid another man called "Juice" to pick up a check for $1,000,000. This will come into play soon.
0:16:49: Preston inserts this blank check (see: title of the film) into his Macintosh computer and prints out a million dollar check. This is illegal, by the way.
0:27:52: Preston uses a computer voice to bid on a castle, which he pays $300,000.
Fun fact: the castle he buys is Pemberton Castle in Austin, Texas. Offered at $2,000,000 today; Pemberton would’ve cost $1,446,963 in 1994.
And why, why is Preston’s first move to buy a castle for $300k? He's spent ⅓ of his check in the first 10 minutes of having the money! IDIOT.
0:31:52: Preston rents a limo. Fine, understandable. But then he buys sweatshirts and Nazi sunglasses. Less understandable. His balance of $-446,963 is quickly diminishing.
0:35:58: This is the first time Preston hits on Shay, an adult woman who's also a bank teller. Another fun fact: the actress who plays Shay also plays a woman named Shay in Dumb & Dumber. Were they out of stage names in the '90s?
0:41:53: Damn, Preston’s thiiiiiiiiiirsty. Okay, so the way this little brat kid is getting away with all this nonsense is that he's saying he "handles the financial affairs" of a man named Mr. Macintosh—hey Macintosh! Just like Preston's Macintosh!
Also, Shay puts out some very mixed signals when it comes to Preston. If you thought it was weird that she was flirting with a pre-teen in 1994, just wait until you watch it 20 years later. Nightmare material.
0:47:25: They’re literally on a date. At this point, Shay believes she’s on this date with a child to discuss his boss’s financial affairs. Keep in mind, she’s a bank teller. Keep in mind, she’s on a date with a child.
0:51:50: Nearly an hour into Blank Check is when the three adult characters decide they’re going to murder a child for money. And if you're wondering, yes, the guy on the far left is Tone Loc...the guy who sings "Funky Cold Medina."
Let's pause for a second and assess this movie. So, Preston Waters now owns a mansion—which somehow only cost $300,00—but has blown nearly all of his money on go karts and sh*tty European clothing. This is all possible through the ruse that his boss, Mr. Macintosh, has hired Preston as his personal assistant/financial advisor.
Preston has stolen the money of a thief named Quigley, who's some kind of undefined thief. Now Quigley and the guy who wrote "Funky Cold Medina" are trying to kill him.
01:18:00: This little f*cker spent $999,667.85. In six days.
1:18:14: “How could you spend a million dollars in six days?" Good question, considering Preston should've been bankrupt the minute he bought that ridiculous castle.
1:21:02: This guy, Biderman, who was a pawn in Quigley's money-laundering (or whatever it was) scheme, tries to kill Preston, but gets caught in a virtual reality simulation...because Preston drops a Virtual Boy on his head.
1:26:50: Turns out Shay is an FBI agent and busts Quigley, Biderman, and Funky Cold Medina for stealing and, eventually, attempted murder.
Most importantly, this marks the point in Blank Check where a pre-teen boy is kissed on the mouth by a 30-year-old FBI agent. They decide to "go on a date" in six years. That's gotta be attempted-something.
With that, Blank Check crawls to an end and Preston Waters goes back to old life of not embezzling money from crooks. So that's the movie: chock full of lies, violence, and attempted pedophilia.
Jeremy Glass is the Vice editor for Supercompressor and has to go wash his eyes out with soap.