Xmas: 'Home Alone 2: Lost In New York' (1992) Dir. Chris Columbus
Not content with being alone at home, young Macaulay Culkin is back and now thrown into being alone in one of the biggest cities in the world at Christmas time...
The McCallister family are preparing for a Christmas vacation to Florida. Keeping tabs on Kevin, they all make it to the airport and head for the plane. But, in the chaos, Kevin falls behind, accidentally boarding the wrong plane bound for New York as his family depart for Miami International.
Landing in the Big Apple, Kevin soon realises he has done it again, but makes the most of credit cards and cash by enjoying the sights and sounds of the city. The family discover Kevin is missing and work with the police to trace Kevin and find out where he is.
But Kevin bumps into his old enemies Harry (Pesci) and Marv (Stern), recently escaped from prison. Once more, it’s down to Kevin to stop them stealing local charity money from a toy store as his family race to New York to find a needle in a rather large haystack…
Full of charm and many repeated jokes and reference to the first film, this tries to capture the innocence and fun of the original, which it does in places, but other times comes over as a little recycled and devoid of real imagination. The same ideas and motives are used for the characters which is amusing at first, but what was charming the first time now just drags a little as you wait for the pay-off of another booby-trapped finale (actually more painful than the first!).
However this time with a good 10mins extra run time, it does drag in places it doesn't really need to and sometimes feels like they're trying too hard to make something more of the film when, really, it's a template copy of the shorter first film.
Our returning stars are all on fine form, delivering the comedy and emotion expected from their characters – Kevin is more confident and brave in his actions, but still isolated and alone (it makes you think after his experiences if he is psychologically scarred!). The Sticky Bandits are still as dumb and dangerous as ever, and the McCallister family still do what every other parent would in a convincing way.
New comers Tim Curry as the Plaza Hotel concierge and Brenda Fricker as the Pigeon Lady (a mirrored role to Old Man Marley), do well and add some new blood to the proceedings, even if Fricker’s character is a recycled device from the first to scare Kevin, enlighten Kevin and then save Kevin. Curry is on fine, slimy form and steals every scene he is in with that inimitable delivery.
Culkin, Pesci and Stern pick up where they left off a good 50mins into the film (the first half deals with Kevin living it up in the city) and we have plenty of slapstick, violent danger and a few laugh out loud moments in the finale thanks to Stern’s physical and vocal acting as he is hit in the face with bricks, electrocuted across his body and stapled in the nose. This will still make you wince however many times you've seen it.
From the opening sequence, to the closing credits, this is a step by step rehash of the first film, but in a much larger, more opportunist world where we remove the house and put in a city. For the most part it works with a lot more on offer in terms of locations and characters to meet, but the core idea doesn't change, and the narrative is very carbon copied with no new twists or ideas, bar the famous cameo by one Donald Trump.
It’s still enjoyable in places and is full of that festive sentiment and heartfelt spirit, but just doesn’t hold up to the original when not much new is presented.
'Home Alone 2: Lost In New York' is a Hughes Entertainment production