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Tagged: The Jonathan Wamback Story

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Tagged: The Jonathan Wamback Story
Directed byJohn L'Ecuyer
Produced byHeather Haldane
Written byMichael Amo
Elizabeth Stewart
StarringTyler Hynes
Ryan Booth
Music byMark Korven
CinematographyMichael Smith
Edited byJeff Warren
Release date
  • 2001 (2001)
Running time
120 minutes

Tagged: The Jonathan Wamback Story is a Canadian television film that first aired on CTV in 2001. The film follows the story of teenager Jonathan Wamback and his struggle with teen violence. The film is based on a true incident.

Playing the film's central character is Tyler Hynes (The Neverending Story, Amazon) as "Jonathan Wamback". Hynes was selected as the winner of the "Young Artist Award" in April 2001, presented annually by a panel of industry professionals including members of the Hollywood Foreign Press. Tagged also features Marnie McPhail (The Associates, A Town Without Christmas) as Jonathan's mother "Lozanne" and Ron White (The Arrow, Total Recall) as "Joe Wamback". Rounding out the cast are actors Janet Laine Greene as "Nora", Christopher Jacot as "Kyle", Charlotte Sullivan as "Courtney", Ali Mukaddam as "Toby" and J. Adam Brown as "Gord".


Jonathan Wamback starts his daily jog through the streets of his suburban neighbourhood. During his run, he catches the eye of Courtney Henderson. Shortly after, Jonathan and his best friend Toby start their first day of high school, where Jonathan notices Courtney again. As the boys are waiting to register for class, four members of a high school gang, Kyle Simpson, Donald Glover, Trevor Smith, and Ben Luekens make a noisy entrance. They waste no time ganging up on a small grade nine student, mocking and bullying him. Jonathan tries to intervene and quickly makes an enemy of gang leader Kyle.

Intrigued by Jonathan's moxie, tough girl Courtney leads him away, both intriguing Jon and angering Kyle. Unbeknownst to Jonathan, Courtney is actually Kyle's girlfriend. Returning home from a workout, Lozanne Wamback, Jonathan's mom, encounters the gang members lighting cherry bombs in the park and harassing some small children. Angered, she follows Kyle home and attempts to speak to his mother about his behaviour. However, Nora Simpson refuses to believe what Lozanne said about her son and brushes her off. Lozanne tells Jon and her husband Joe about the incident, but Joe is too busy to listen and dismisses her concerns, saying that she's taking it too seriously.

Jonathan is approached by Gord Nelson and Jeff Walters, two cool guys who claim to be forming a group to stand up to Kyle's gang. Together, they come across a Skulls tag (graffiti) spray-painted on a warehouse wall. Jon impresses them when he climbs up and spray-paints over it, turning it into an image of the iconic Arthurian "sword in the stone". They notify him that by doing so he's effectively declaring war on the Skulls gang. To make things worse, Gord has painted racist remarks over a Skulls tag in the park washroom and the gang jumps to the conclusion that it was written by Jon. In response, the gang lures Jon to a park using a phone call from Courtney. Jon tries to escape by scaling a fence, only to have the boys attack him and beat him so severely that he winds up heavily disabled and on life support.

Lozanne and Joe establish a routine of daily care - participating in his physical therapy, washing and tending his broken body, talking to him even though he doesn't appear to hear. Their love for Jonathan and complete dedication to helping him recuperate slowly starts to heal their fragile relationship. As Jon slowly starts to emerge from his coma, Joe lobbies to have the Young Offenders Act rewritten to impose harsher penalties for violent crime.

Gord visits Jon for the first time since the attack and the truth emerges that he wrote the slur that incited the near-fatal beating. Finally, Jon decides to return to school to prove that despite everything, he's no longer a victim. Upon his arrival Kyle and other students are shocked at the reality of the physical damage inflicted upon Jon.


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Tagged: The Jonathan Wamback Story
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