Home Alone becomes Hotel Alone
Just as John McLane found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time in the "Die Hard" movies you could say the same of young Kevin McCallister who a year after having the run of his home for Christmas now discovers that he is all alone in New York and once more having to do battle with bungling criminals Harry and Marv. And that is the thing about "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York" as whilst we have a different location and different circumstances what you really have is a rerun of "Home Alone". From a scary older character which Kevin befriends through to taking on Harry and Marv with a building rigged with booby traps it is for the most what we saw in the original "Home Alone" movie. And if you enjoyed "Home Alone" well the chances are the repetitiveness of the sequel will not bother you and will enjoy the sadistic slapstick of Harry and Marv being outwitted by a young Kevin as well as the scenes of New York at Christmas.
A year after Kevin (Macaulay Culkin - My Girl) was left all alone and had to defend his home against Harry (Joe Pesci - Lethal Weapon 3) & Marv (Daniel Stern - City Slickers) the McCallister's are preparing to spend Christmas in Miami. But a mix up at the airport causes young Kevin to end up on a flight to New York whilst the rest of the McCallisters head to Miami. Realising that he is all alone in New York Kevin makes the most of his freedom, cleverly booking himself into the Plaza and enjoying room service. That is until he comes face to face with Harry and Marv once again and not only does he have to defend himself from the former wet bandits but also stop them from robbing a toy store.
In what is one of just a handful of clever moments in "Home Alone 2" we witness Kevin being sent to the attic to sleep whilst the rest of the family hurriedly prepare for their Christmas vacation to Miami. I say it's clever because it intentionally mirrors what happened at the start of "Home Alone" but has fun with it with the pay off being that Kevin is more prepared than his family and come the morning he is already waiting in the taxi for them. Sadly that is just one of only a few clever moments as whilst we get the set up of the McCallister's going to Miami as Kevin accidentally goes to New York what we get is pretty much a rehash of the first movie.
What this means is that we get to watch Kevin cleverly get himself a hotel room at the Plaza where he enjoys the pleasure of room service and then exploring the city where he ends up befriending the scary pigeon woman whilst also making friends with Mr. Duncan the owner of a Toy shop. And of course we get Harry and Marv who whilst planning to rob Duncan's Toy shop find themselves facing their midget nemesis once again. From an adult's point of view it ends up an unimaginative rehash of the first movie which whilst has an element of charm when it comes to the friendship which forms between Kevin and Mr. Duncan, the vindictiveness of Kevin outsmarting Harry and Marv borders on the sadistic. I'm sorry but there is something vicious rather than funny about bricks being thrown from a top of the building and smacking Marv in the head.
But the thing is that like the first movie "Home Alone 2" is for the kids and as such has that blend of charm and slapstick which made the first one so enjoyable. Whether you agree with certain booby traps, watching Harry and Marv get outsmarted by the imaginative Kevin is still good fun and young children will enjoy it. Plus with this being set in New York there is something more Christmassy about this sequel.
As for the performances well Macaulay Culkin very much carries on where he left off and so once more we have Kevin this clever young kid who whilst on one hand is very innocent is also deceptively clever when it comes to outsmarting adults and I am not just talking bad guys. And along with Macaulay Culkin all the others who played the McCallister tribe return which means we get John Heard and Catherine O'Hara once more playing panicky parents. Plus of course Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern return as Harry and Marv and once more delight with their ineptness when it comes to robbing places. But ironically it is Tim Curry who makes the greatest impression despite as Mr. Hector the Plaza's Concierge having so little to do. It is really just one scene where we watch his face break into a sinister smile as Kevin watches the Grinch which makes it so memorable and in many ways so perfect.
What this all boils down to is that "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York" really is just a rehash of "Home Alone" which sees Kevin all alone in New York and having to take on Harry and Marv once again. From an adult's point of view it has some charm but it also unimaginative but for children it will work with the slapstick of Kevin outsmarting Harry and Marv providing plenty of laughs.
Tags: Christmas Movies