Oh Barefoot Bandit, how you disappoint me. You may remember this kid from his string of robberies, where he stole bikes, cars, speedboats and airplanes… which he taught himself to fly by reading manuals! His name is Colton Harris-Moore, and he was a kid who ran away from home and lived in the wild. He began committing burglaries to do things like soak in hot tubs and eat ice cream; when he started he was basically just taking what he needed to survive (he committed credit card fraud to buy bear mace!).
Harris-Moore became famous when it was revealed that he committed some of his crimes barefoot. He took pictures of himself with stolen cameras, and he ended up leaving chalked outlines of his bare feet at some robberies. He also mysteriously donated 100 bucks to a local vet by breaking into their office. He eventually fled to the Bahamas in a plane he stole in Indiana; when he tried to flee the Bahamas the engine of his boat was shot out and he was captured. Not to romanticize this kid who was committing all these crimes, but these are awesome and romantic crimes.
But now he’s got a plea deal. And he’s got to be sorry about what he did. And he’s signed a huge life rights deal with Fox, who had already optioned a book about him. Part of Harris-Moore’s deal with Fox is that the $1.4 million he is making must be used to repay his victims - which sounds less generous when you realize he is barred from making any money from his life rights as per his plea bargain deal of two months ago. So maybe the kid’s just putting on a good show.
“I did things that were not only a violation of law, but also of trust,” Harris-Moore said a written statement released by his attorneys. “I can’t undo what I did. I can only try to make things better.”
I guess this is the ending a movie needs, one where he’s contrite. It’s Catch Me If You Can all over again, where we thrill with the crime and then feel good about the rehabilitation. But I’d kind of rather see a movie about a kid living on his own who has no misgivings about what he did. It’s the economic apocalypse, and it’s time we started siding with the outlaws again.