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Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

December 15, 2010

VERDICT:
6/10 Turtle Doves

More like a shot-for-shot remake than a sequel, but it still does the trick.

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York is about a kid whose shitty family heads off to Miami for Christmas, but because they oversleep again and find themselves rushing through the airport again, the kid ends up getting on a plane to The Big Apple all by himself along with his dad’s AmEx and a brand new Talkboy. So being the clever little bastard that he is, he dupes The Plaza Hotel into giving him a penthouse suite, he makes friends with a pigeon lady in Central park while he’s at it, and once again has to borderline decapitate the two crooks he put in jail last year instead of just crying like a maniac in the baggage claim like any normal kid would do.

So if you’ve seen Home Alone, if you’ve been to Manhattan, you’ve already seen this movie. Not kidding, it’s got the exact. same. plot. as the first movie, only they’ve switched the setting and given the same characters new names and faces. The Wet Bandits are now The Sticky Bandits and they fall for all the same coma-inducing booby traps that Kevin sets ’em up for, that creepy old dude with the shovel is now a creepy Susan Boyle look-alike who doubles as a walking receptacle for bird shit, “Keep the change, ya’ filthy animal,” is now “Merry Christmas, ya’ filthy animal,” and instead of having the pizza boy on the receiving end of that prank, this time it’s Tim Curry and Rob Schneider.

Yeah, originality isn’t exactly this movie’s strong suit and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie that’s more closely resembled a carbon copy of itself, but whatever, it’s a cash cow, there’s not a whole lot of other directions you can take the premise in, and that’s fine for some reason. It’s working off a simple, successful formula, and even if the only new addition is a bigger city and even more painful injuries, it works because it’s familiar and it’s mindless.

It’s funny to watch Joe Pesci cursing out pigeons while smacking them with a newspaper, it’s funny to watch Daniel Stern get electrocuted to the extent that he turns into a bearded skeleton, and with the exception of the whole aftershave scene that doesn’t get duplicated, everything that made me laugh in the first one pretty much got a chuckle out of me this time around, too.

But as feel-goody and Christmasy as this movie is, man, John Hughes really upped the death threats this time around. I was pretty taken aback by Daniel Stern’s whole “Maybe he committed suicide” line when Kevin zip lines it to the tree house in the first one, but I couldn’t believe some of the crap The Sticky Bandits were saying to Kevin now that they’re out for revenge. Joe Pesci actually informs the kid a good half-dozen times that he’s gonna shoot him in the face the first chance he gets, capping it all off with a “Say anything and you’ll be spitting gum out of your forehead!” before he ultimately puts the muzzle right up to Macaulay’s enormous lips, fully intending to assassinate an eight-year-old in the middle of Central Park.

What the fuck is that about?

Then again, if Kevin could be charged as an adult and this took place in a reality where human beings don’t instantly recover from dousing their flaming heads in a tub of kerosene, that kid would get the chair for first degree murder before those thugs even reached the front door. I don’t know what it says about me, but whether it was Pesci on the verge of offing Kevin or Stern getting a goddamned brick to the forehead from four stories up, I couldn’t help but daydream to the movie this could have been if it were more like a documentary than a cartoon. The music screeching to a halt as Kevin’s body slumps to the ground and the pigeon lady gets pinned with the murder, Pesci freaking out when he looks down at the brick jutting halfway out of his buddy’s brain, all that good stuff. Depressing, I know, and I’m glad to see everyone alive and well, but that sure would have spiced things up a bit, huh?

God, what the hell is wrong with me…

Anyway, depending on who you talk to, a 6 is a pretty generous score for Home Alone 2. The first Home Alone is still better and it really bugs me the way Kevin gets lost in the airport because he was switching out his Talkboy batteries like a fuckin’ idiot (which also totally goes against how smart he is when it comes to duping adults for the remainder of the movie), but thanks to a whole lot of nostalgia factor that goes along with my friends and I loving this movie way back when it first came out, a 6 is where it stays. Nothing says Christmas quite like hemorrhages and paralysis, huh?

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. December 15, 2010 4:27 am

    God I hated these films. Why? Because they decided that the adults in this series are all complete imbeciles, bereft of intellect or common sense, and a bobble-headed kid manages to upstage, outwit and incapacitate said adults using more insane idea-cobbling than MacGuyver. The “‘comedy” in Home Alone 1 and 2 delivers nothing more than fleeting scattershot slapstick revelling in base injury and carnage: and Aiden, I was more than annoyed with the death threats in film 2… they didn’t even try and hide them behind any kind of laughs – just straight up “I’m gonna shoot you kid”.

    Scriptwriting fail.

    • December 15, 2010 12:30 pm

      hahaha. won’t argue against any of those points. but in Kevin’s defense, he was pretty smooth getting into The Plaza and some of those traps in the house were pretty effective. easily would have killed those two guys no matter how smart they were.

  2. Tricia permalink
    December 15, 2010 8:24 am

    I hated this movie so much I was actually routing for daniel stern and joe pesci

  3. Ryan permalink
    December 15, 2010 9:26 am

    You really need to write more about Rob Schneiders Oscar worthy performance

    • December 15, 2010 10:39 am

      Are we still talking about Home Alone 2 or have we moved onto Judge Dredd?

      • Ryan permalink
        December 15, 2010 11:48 am

        Surf Ninjas

  4. HermioneO permalink
    December 17, 2010 7:06 am

    Didn’t like it. Need Joe Pesci’s revenge.

    • December 20, 2010 1:23 pm

      I agree. Would have been far more memorable if he shot Kevin.

  5. December 18, 2010 12:08 am

    I’m thinking that if O’Hara lost Kevin once she would’ve turned into psycho-clinger-mom and never left him alone again. The fact that she loses him twice? Hilarious.

  6. January 6, 2011 10:59 pm

    Well, you probably could have stopped this review after the first sentence. No knock against you, the flick just don’t deserve it.

    I always hated hated hated the pigeon lady angle – not only was it too much an attempt to clone the scary old man from the first (which was done really well), but it was just so weird. Was Mike Tyson in the background there, too? That said, I really enjoy the first, and this is a xerox, so do the math…if it’s on, I’ll succumb and give it a watch…

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