Monday, October 4, 2010

Movie Review - Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

*Spoilers for an 18 year old movie that has exactly the same plot as the first film follow*

So why am I reviewing a movie released in 1992? Well, because I just saw it for the first time on Netflix. And because it's my blog and I say so.

Everyone loves the original Home Alone. Home Alone is a great movie. It has a charming little boy for a main character, it's well written, and it's really entertaining. If for some reason you haven't seen it, it's pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. A 9 year old boy named Kevin gets left Home Alone when his family accidentally forgets him and leave on Christmas vacation. Wackiness ensues! When two robbers try to break into his house, it's up to Kevin to fend them off! It's a great movie, and it was very very popular, so popular in fact, that it spawned a whole bunch of similar movies that basically did what Home Alone did, but not as well.

So naturally since the movie was a smash hit was a success, they made a second one. Oh joy. But wait, this is not only made by the same people, it has the ENTIRE original cast in it! And Tim Curry! Surely this will be at least kind of amusing, right? Wrong.

Ugh. I hate this movie.

The biggest problem though is that it's the SAME DANG MOVIE. It is not a sequel. It is THE SAME MOVIE. They use every gag from the first movie that was even mildly amusing again. And again. And again. Did you laugh at that time when he said "Sir, I'm 9 years old, am I going to shop alone? I don't think so." in the first movie? I sure hope so because he's going to use that AGAIN! Twice! Did you laugh when he used the audio from the movie to scare off the robbers? Well guess what? HE DOES THAT AGAIN! Did you find it amusing when he used cardboard cutouts to make it look like there was someone behind a curtain? Well guess what? This time it's an INFLATABLE CLOWN! Way to really shake things up!

But the most maddening example of this has to be the Pigeon Lady. Remember the neighbor all the kids in the first movie were afraid of? Well this is the same character. It introduces her the same way, it treats the character the same, she exists for the exact same reason that the crazy guy existed in the first film.

In fact there was one scene I watched where... Well, let me just tell you my thought pattern while I was watching it.

"Oh look it's the pigeon lady. Yeah yeah, he's scared, he's running awa- Oh? What's this? He's stopping? He turned around? He's talking to her?! I know where this is going! He's going to say he realize he's not afraid of her and she's just a person like him like in the first movie, and then she's going to turn out to be a psycho after all! That'll be hilarious! This movie could still be pretty good...

Ok he's done talking, she'll roar at him or something crazy any second now...

...Aaaaany second now....



Oh no....


And then my head exploded.

You might think getting the entire original cast together would at least save the movie from being horrible though, right? Oh but not so! Kevin still seems to be at least mildly charming for most the film (until the end. I'll get to that, don't worry.) but the rest of the cast just come off as either criminally negligent, or just plain creepy. I mean, in the first movie, Harry and Marv (the Wet Bandits) were bad guys yeah, make no mistake, but if I recall, they never ACTUALLY THREATENED HIS LIFE did they? Sure, they said things like "When I get my hands on that little kid I'm gonna [insert unspeakable thing here]" if they did say they were gonna kill him, it wasn't more than once or twice. But in this, they just say "I'm gonna murder that kid when I find him!" about fifty times. Yeesh. There went all the charm from the first.

Plus, this movie is just fundamentally flawed. The whole point of the first movie was that Kevin realized he loved, and missed his family after all, even though they were jerks, they were still his family. Meanwhile his family realized they had been jerks to him, and in the case of his parents, weren't paying enough attention to him. Ok, in real life it would result in far more severe consequences, but in a movie it works.

And then comes this piece of crap. And every character has completely forgotten the events of the first film. In the beginning, his parents LITERALLY LEAVE HIM BEHIND IN AN AIRPORT WHILE HE'S SCREAMING "Wait up!"

I'm sorry, but that crosses a line from really absentminded, to criminally negligent, and child endangerment. If that had really happened, don't you think the next year the mother would be very careful to keep Kevin nearby? Like, HOLDING HER HAND UNTIL THEY GOT ON THE PLANE? But no, because of that, he ends up getting on the wrong plane, and getting lost in new york. He's probably safer there. I mean seriously. CPS needs to intervene here.

Oh yeah, and Tim Curry is in it, playing a sort-of-badish-guy. But not really. He's pretty ok I guess.

But quite possibly the cherry on top of this crap sundae is the very end. With the traps. You remember the charming traps from the first one? These traps are not like those traps. Those traps were the kind of thing a 9 year old boy would make. These traps? These traps are the kind of traps an Iraq War Veteran would make.

Those traps in the first film (with the exception of the lawnmower trap, which I always found sketchy) were just meant to cause pain, and y'know, trap the bad guys.

These traps though are traps to FREAKING KILL THEM. Let me tell you the very first thing Kevin does? He gets to the top of a 5 story building, and THROWS BRICKS AT THEM FROM THE TOP. AND HITS MARV. LIKE 5 TIME. IN THE FACE.

.... Ugh, I really hate this movie.

I'm sorry, but Marv is dead. No one could survive that. No one. Ever. At all. No. Just, no.

But that's not even the most lethal. After that, he rigs up something involving a staple gun shooting Marv, a bag full of wrenches hitting Harry on the head, a 3 story fall for both of them, a large pipe to then fall on them from three stories up, presumably paralyzing them both from the waist down for life, lighting the rope they are climbing down on fire (it had been soaked in kerosene) causing them to fall five stories, electrocuted Marv (and he keeps turning the voltage higher and higher...) and my personal favorite, setting Harry's HEAD ON FIRE (that's not the best part) and tricking him into sticking his head into a toilet FILLED WITH KEROSENE.

...Sure. Why not.

The sheer lethalness of these traps give the whole film a really dark and creepy undertone, like Kevin is some psycho who's mind finally snapped. I guess he'd been spending too much time with Pigeon Lady.

And of course, after all of this, he lives, the family comes and spends Christmas Day with Kevin in the Plaza hotel (which they got to stay in free of charge as the hotel's apology for A. letting Kevin check in by himself, and B. losing him.) and the film closes with the Dad screaming (keep in mind he only had the opportunity to do so because they abandoned him in an airport.) "KEVIN?! YOU SPENT $968 ON ROOM SERVICE?" At which point Kevin gasps, and runs off into central park. Now, the film ends here, so I can't be sure that following this scene Kevin is immediately mugged at knife point and killed brutally, but considering Home Alone 3 stars a different kid, I feel I have no choice but to assume that he was.

And thus is the dark end to a dark film. Seriously though, this movie is bad. Not just kind of bad, really really bad. It's terrible. It's terrible and I hate it. It is very possibly one of the worst films I have ever seen. ARGH. I need to stop talking about this movie before my head explodes. Again.

1 comment:

  1. PLEASE tell us what you REALLY think! hehehe And I personally think the problem with Kevin is he has spent too much time ALONE! ;^)