February 13, 2018

Vice Versa Blu-ray Review

Mill Creek Ent., PG; 98 mins; $14.98

There have been many body switching comedies over the years, with the most famous being Freaky Friday, which was based on the 1972 children's book of the same name by Mary Rodgers. Believe it or not, that isn't the first switcheroo novel. Back in 1882, author F. Anstey published a novel called Vice Versa: A Lessons For Fathers, which tells the story of a business man switching bodies with his son. The tale was adapted into three feature films in the UK in 1916, 1937 and 1948, and was turned into a UK television series in 1981.

The last adaptation was 1988's Vice Versa. Directed by Brian Gilbert, the film starred Judge Reinhold, Fred Savage, Corinne Bohrer ("Prank" from the Flash) and Swoosie Kurtz. The film was released to Blu-ray last year by Mill Creek Entertainment. There are no special features or bonus extras on the disc.

Vice Versa centers on Marshall Seymour (played by Judge Reinhold), a vice president of a unnamed department store company who's on vacation in Thailand with his girlfriend Sam (played by Corinne Bohrer). Well, he's not really on vacation, as he purchases a bunch of exotic vases for work, and brings one sample vase back to Chicago with him. Unknowingly to him, an art thief does a switcheroo and replaces the vase with a skull statue. Let's just say the whole situation almost gets him fired, but luckily for him, he's contacted by the owner of the skull who wants to make an exchange. (Spoiler: the woman is in cahoots with the art thief.)

Anyhow, Marshall ends up taking the skull home with him on the same night that he gets stuck taking care of his eleven-year-old son Charlie (played by Fred Savage). To make a long story short, Marshall and Charlie touch the skull at the same time and "Alakazam," they end up switching bodies. 

Due to school tests and business meetings, Marshall and Charlie have to take over the other's life for a few days, outsmart the two art thieves, and find a way to switch back to their own bodies.

Final Thoughts

Prior to writing this review, I did a quick internet search on Vice Versa and I shockingly learned the movie was a critical and commercial flop back in 1988. I have fond memories of watching the movie during my childhood. It was released about a year after Life Father Like Son was released, which had a similar switcheroo plot, and out of the two, Vice Versa is the better film.

I don't recall when was the last time I had watched the movie, but I would say anywhere between fifteen and twenty years. I had a received a review copy last year from Mill Creek Entertainment and I was looking forward to watching it. However, due to the holidays and a few personals things (which I'm not going to talk about here), I never got around to watching the Blu-ray; well, until I watched it early this morning.

The picture and sound quality are topnotch on the Blu-ray. The only downside I have about this release is that there are no special features or commentaries.

Overall, Vice Versa is a underrated comedy that deserves a second chance to find an audience. Despite being thirty-years-old, the film holds up really well, and it's just as good as remember it. 

*Note - I received a complimentary copy from Mill Creek Entertainment. All opinions are my own.

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