Getting Even with Dad (1994)
Culkin has Dad Issues
There are really only two reasons why you would ever remember watching "Getting Even with Dad" those are Ted Danson with a pony tail and Macauley Culkin sporting equally bad hair. Certainly doesn't say much for the movie does it but it's the truth as there is little to say about a movie which is both routine and short on humour with what there is repeated till the clock eventually runs down and the credits roll. But this shouldn't come as a huge surprise because by 1994 Macauley Culkin was growing up, the young boy act had run its course and like other movies from 1994 "Getting Even with Dad" feels like a movie cashing in on the last embers of Culkin's youthful popularity before he called time on his acting career for almost a decade.
Former convict Ray Gleason (Ted Danson - Made in America) and his buddies Bobby (Saul Rubinek) and Carl (Gailard Sartain) have pulled off the robbery of a life time, stealing over a million dollars in rare coins. The only trouble is that Ray's estranged son Timmy (Macaulay Culkin - Home Alone 2: Lost in New York) shows up and wanting some father son bonding manages to hide the haul of coins and blackmails his father into taking him out to various places. But with Bobby and Carl in tow plus the police on their tail will everything work out as Timmy plans?
Now whilst Macauley Culkin had grown up since the days of "Home Alone" it feels like "Getting Even with Dad" was trying to play to the Kevin character factor. Here we have a movie all about Macauley as Timmy outsmarting everyone, he outsmarts his dad and his criminal friends to get what he wants and he outsmarts the cops who are trailing his dad. And whilst we have Timmy outsmarting people his dad's friends Bobby and Carl end up victims of various prat falls, none thankfully from booby traps but still prat falls which feel not too dissimilar to those in "Home Alone".
Basically that we means that whilst "Getting Even with Dad" gives us the storyline of Timmy's dad and his friends stealing a rare collection of coins the essence of the movie is delivering the same style of comedy as "Home Alone". There is more to it than just this as what Timmy wants is some father son bonding and so by outsmarting him manages to get that as Ray takes him on a series of day trips. Unfortunately this goes on and on as we go from aquarium to museum to theme park back to another museum and certainly feels like the writers were trying to stretch things out.
Now as already mentioned both Ted Danson and Macauley Culkin sport some seriously dodgy hair which ends up being the most memorable thing about "Getting Even with Dad". But what is also memorable is that how desperate it feels to have Macauley trying to deliver the "Home Alone" style antics and a scene which sees Timmy jumping up and down on a bed is cheesy. Of course cheesy can be fun, and the humour of Saul Rubinek and Gailard Sartain as bumbling criminal buddies Bobby and Carl is amusing if a little bit too obvious but the same cannot be said of Danson as the flustered Ray being outsmarted by Timmy.
What this all boils down to is that "Getting Even with Dad" ends up just a desperate attempt to capitalize on Macauley Culkin's youthful appeal before he could no longer pull of doing the "Home Alone" stuff. The irony is that he was already too old for that stuff and so not only does it feel inferior but also quite dull with very few laughs which will appeal to younger audiences.
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