I remember watching this movie back in the early 1990s and loving it. Released in 1988, Vice Versa stars Judge Reinhold & Fred Savage in a movie about father & son switching bodies, similar to Like Father Like Son, which came out the previous year. In this movie however we see the father & son having to live out the lives of each other and finding out what it is like and the experience brings them closer together.
The plot is pretty simple; Marshal Seymore is a divorced VP of a huge department store based in Chicago and he returns from a buying trip in the South Seas and accidentally gets his hands on a stolen ornamental skull which has magical powers. He is contacted by the smugglers who arranged for the skull to be shipped to the US and fixes a meeting after the weekend to exchange the skull for a vase that he was supposed to get. However, in a verbal confrontation with his son Charlie, who is visiting while his mother is on a vacation, his mind gets swapped with Charlie’s and vice versa – the dad is in the body of his 11 year old son and the pre-teen kid is in the body of his adult father. This happens when they both wish that they could be the other and both just happen to place their hands on the skull.
What follows next is the hilarious situation of Judge Reinhold who basically carries this movie. His transformation as the dull, serious minded father to the fun loving & rock music loving version while Charlie is supposed to be inhabiting his body is fun to watch. The father & son duo have to get through the next few days in each other’s roles and that itself should be fun and make the movie. They try to find out how this happened and more importantly how to reverse it. Charlie in Marshall’s body has to go to the office and work and also date his father’s girlfriend, while Marshall in Charlie’s body has to avoid bullies in school, do well in class and also gets a girl to have a crush on him.
They also have to dodge the villains and Charlie’s mom, who comes home early and sees her son drinking a martini – only it’s actually Marshall in his son’s body. Marshall has to help Charlie get through a very important review but gets kidnapped by the smugglers and Charlie chases after them with the skull. In the end the two smugglers, a lady & a man, gets interchanged with each other while father & son get the skull back. In the final scene Marshall & Charlie change back to their original bodies, having become closer through this ordeal. The end.
This movie was a flop but I still like it and will pull it out for that occasional rainy day viewing. 7 outta 10!