August 30, 1996 – The Live-Action Feature Film First Kid Premieres in Theaters
“It seems there’s always something with you, Simms. ‘My bulletproof vest causes chafing?’…‘My photo I.D. makes me look fat.’”
On August 30, 1996, the live-action feature film First Kid premiered in theaters. It was filmed in Richmond, Virginia, and Washington DC, with most of the mall scenes being filmed in Tyson’s Corner mall in McLean, Virginia. Bob Snow, the former chief of the Secret Service, served on the film as the technical advisor. The film was written by Tim Kelleher, and directed by David M. Evans. It starred Sinbad as Sam Simms, Brock Pierce as Luke Davenport, Timothy Busfield as Woods, Robert Guillaume as Wilkes, Erin Williby as Katie, Zachary Ty Bryan as Rob, and Fawn Reed as Ms. Lawrence. The film also featured cameos by Sonny Bono (serving in the House of Representatives at the time), and Bill Clinton (former President of the United States).
The film begins in the White House, where Luke Davenport, the son of the President of the United States, delights in being a pain to his security personnel, particularly Agent Woods. Meanwhile, Secret Service agent Sam Simms is helping set up an event at the mall, although he tends to abuse his power slightly. On his way to the event with his mother, Luke acts sullen, as he wishes he didn’t have to have all these responsibilities as the son of the President. Simms is lectured by his boss Wilkes to have a better attitude and stop joking around, when the First Lady and Luke show up; it turns out they’re there for back-to-school shopping. Luke doesn’t want to get out of the car, and is angry that he can’t act like a normal thirteen-year-old. The reporters follow them around the stores, and when Woods roughly grabs Luke and pulls him toward the dressing room, the First Lady decides to have Woods removed from his post. Simms is quickly pulled from his post to be the new guard for Luke.
Back at the White House, Simms is interviewed as the new guard for Luke by Morton, the head of security, who has his misgivings on placing Simms as the personal agent for the kid. Simms also has his misgivings about the assignment, as he doesn’t want to be a “babysitter.” Wilkes advises Simms that if he does a good job with guarding Luke, he could then move on to guarding the President himself. While Luke sets to work in tormenting Simms, he then gets a lecture from his parents about acting more responsible. When Luke heads off without Simms to walk his dog, the dog sets off the security alarm, and all the nearby police are called. Simms covers for the kid by making a joke of the situation, although it doesn’t seem to help Simms or Luke. Later that night, Luke joins an online chat room, talking to a girl he met there.
Off-duty, Simms heads to a bar to meet with Woods. Woods is drunk, but he doesn’t blame Simms for what happened to him, and says that he has six weeks paid suspension. Wilkes informs Simms later that Woods was actually fired for failing his fitness physical. Simms asks Wilkes about when he got shot protecting the president, and Wilkes tells him that Simms will be fine: no one wants to shoot Luke (though they may want to spank him). The first day at school, Luke is still causing trouble for Simms. Simms finds Luke’s science teacher Ms. Lawrence rather attractive, while a female student shows an interest in Luke. That night, there is an event for the President’s reelection, and Simms realizes that Luke has decided to set loose his giant boa constrictor at the event. While Simms tries to get the snake, he accidentally says that there is poison, and the guests flee the event. Luke continues to be a pain to Simms at school, but is also bullied by fellow student Rob. The incident is caught by a reporter, and by Ms. Lawrence, who lectures Simms for his irresponsibility. Simms argues that Luke got what he deserved.
Later, Luke talks about the incident with his parents, and they decide to ground him for a month while they are out on the campaign trail. Simms follows Luke down a secret passageway in the house, and finds the kid crying in the archives. Luke refuses to talk to Simms, as he feels that no one cares about him. He explains that he has no life as the son of the President, and Simms explains that he had a lonely childhood as well, and the two bond. Luke also continues his friendship with the girl on the chatroom, although Simms warns him. Simms also gives Luke a necklace, which doubles as a tracking device. At school, Luke talks with a girl at school, who invites him to the movies, but Luke can’t go as he’s grounded. That night, Luke decides to run away, but is caught by Simms. Simms decides to cheer him up by taking him out, with two conditions: he can’t talk about it, and he can’t try and run away. Simms then sneaks Luke out of the house with a disguise, and they’re soon on their way out. They hit a snag when another agent finds out that Luke is being taken out of the house, but Simms convinces him that the kid needs to have a little fun, and they’re protecting him in a different manner.
Simms takes Luke to a boxing gym to learn how to defend himself, and meets Simms’ old coach, who tells them that Simms was a champion boxer. They continue to work at the gym together, with Luke gaining more confidence. At school, Luke’s crush Katie comes over to talk to him, with Simms giving Luke some space and talking talk to his own crush, Ms. Lawrence. Katie asks Luke to her birthday party at a skating rink, but Simms can’t let him go. Luke threatens to blackmail Simms, and Simms takes Luke – in disguise – to the party. Luke gets upset when Katie skates with Rob, but is relieved when Rob and his friends ruin her party, making Katie hate Rob. Later, Luke asks his parents if he can go to a dance at school, and they give him permission. Simms is excited for Luke, and decides to help Luke ask Katie to the dance. Simms helps Luke by talking through an earpiece, and Luke scores a date with Katie. However, he loses his nerve as he doesn’t know how to dance. Simms helps him through this new crisis by teaching him how to dance, but the victory is short-lived, as there’s a bomb scare at the White House, and Luke is placed under house arrest. Simms decides to take Luke to the dance anyway, and sneaks him out.
Luke heads over to Katie at the dance, and the two head out to the dance floor. While Luke dances with Katie, Simms dances with Ms. Lawrence. Back at the White House, Luke’s snake has gotten out of its cage and upsets the computer program that makes Luke appear to be home. The rest of the agents aware that Luke is away, and rush to the dance. Rob, angered that Luke is dancing with Katie, tries to pick a fight with Luke again, but Luke is able to put his boxing skills to good use. The agents arrive at the school and take Luke away, and Simms is effectively fired from his job. Luke is confined to his room again with an added tracking bracelet, and Luke is furious that Simms is gone. He chats online again, and his friend tells him that she can help turn it off so he can meet her at the mall. The next day, Luke has attached the tracker to his dog and sneaks out of the house. He sends his dog out into DC to send the agents on a wild goose chase, and the agents pull Simms in again, thinking he helped Luke escape. Simms is not allowed to help with the investigation, but is able to find out where Luke is thanks to the trace on the internet chat friend, and heads to the mall, using the tracker in the necklace he gave him.
Luke is playing the virtual reality game, when he finds the identity of his chat friend: his old agent, Woods. Mentally unstable, Woods blames Luke for losing his job, and takes him hostage to bring him back and look like a hero. Simms spots them and jumps from the second story to follow them. Woods pulls a gun out and threatens Simms. Simms tries to talk him down, but Woods shoots at him; luckily, Simms is able to dodge the bullet. He makes his move when Woods has to reload his gun, and they fight over the gun. Simms is able to knock Woods out, but when Woods gets up, he gets ready to shoot Luke, and Simms takes the bullet for him; luckily, he is only shot in the shoulder. Woods is shot by another agent, and arrested soon after. Simms is given his job back, and is moved up to guard the President. Simms thanks them, but he decides he wants to keep guarding Luke.