Wayne Szalinski: Crime and Punishment in Las Vegas Movies
“You think I’m just some guy from Fresno, tinkering with crackpot ideas in his attic?” –Wayne Szalinski
Yes we do, Wayne. Yes we do.
Wayne Szalinski may seem like a curious character to include in an “infamous movie criminals” list, but a quick call back to the plot of Honey I Blew Up the Kid makes it abundantly clear.
I mean, the crack-pot scientist negligently shoots his child Adam with an experimental growth ray, effectively turning the tiny toddler into a 100-foot tall giant. If that’s not criminal, than I don’t know what is. After becoming a giant, Adam then decides that Las Vegas looks like the perfect place to play, and Szalinski’s attempts to get his child back to normal leads to more crime being committed..
Stealing the Shrink Ray
In order to bring his son back down to size, Szalinski needs to get his prototype ray out of Sterling Laboratories storage. Even though it belongs to the company, he sneaks in and steals it. However noble his intentions may be (but really, is just trying to clean up a mess his negligence created noble?), this a crime – several in fact. Theft, burglary and larceny charges would add up to 30 years behind bars. These are all Category B felonies, which would add as much as $30,000 in fines on top of the lengthy prison sentence.
There also exists an extra provision in there that says if this theft leads to the acquisition of a firearm or deadly weapon – which the shrink ray could very well be classified as – then a 15 year term could be imposed.
Using the Shrink Ray
After stealing the shrink ray from a Sterling Laboratories warehouse, things get much worse for Szalinski. Speeding to get home to Adam – with wife Diane driving – Wayne fires the ray and shrinks two highway patrol officers attempting to pull them over. This amounts to two counts of both assault and battery – the latter being a class C felony when involving law enforcement or weapons – adding 44 years to his sentence. Sure, Szalinski brings them back to normal size, but that does not take away the fact that he assaulted them WITH A SHRINK RAY.
Additionally, an offense involving the use of stolen property, depending on the value of said property, would earn 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Szalinski would be given such a sentence because a shrink ray, the only one in existence, would undoubtedly carry more than a $3,500 value. This would also be classed as a Category B felony.
Regardless of theft and destruction of property, Child Protective Services would be none to happy about children living in a house where they can be shrunk to the size of a penny or ballooned to the size of the Bellagio. A child endangerment charge would be probably the least of Szalinski’s concerns considering he would need a protracted legal battle to convince the courts to not turn his kids over to CPS – and most certainly take him out of the running for father of the year.