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Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

A comedy movie directed by Chris Columbus.

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A childhood favorite that has aged quite poorly. 25%

  • Dec 25, 2012
Rating:
+1
Merry Christmas, everyone!!

I saw this movie in theaters with my family back around Christmas of 1992, and being the easy-to-impress five year-old that I was, I loved the movie. Like the first Home Alone movie, I would spend the rest of my childhood loving this movie without giving it much deep thought. It wasn't until around two years ago that my fandom for this movie began to severely decline after applying good old logic to everything.

STORY

It's Christmas time again, and the MacCallisters are headed off to Florida to visit their family during the Holidays. Again, Kevin gets into a scuffle with Buzz, this time at a school play when Buzz humiliates him on stage and Kevin knocks him down, causing a domino effect of other small disasters. Again, Kevin's family targets him and scolds him for it. They wind up late for the flight again, but are more caution to see that Kevin is actually with them, but Kevin ends up getting lost at the airport and gets caught on a flight to New York City. The Wet Bandits break out of prison and end up in NYC, and plan on robbing a giant toy store in the Big Apple.

CHARACTERS

The characters in this movie make a total reversal in this sequel. It's like Kevin's family forgot what they learned at the end of the first movie and reverted back to their old ways, and that the other characters in this movie feel far less believable in their actions. Why would Kevin's family blame Kevin for causing the incident at the play when they saw in plain sight that Buzz caused it? At this point, they're clearly being jerks against Kevin.

Also, the supporting cast doesn't fare better. The homeless lady is clearly a rehash of Marley Murphy from the first movie, and the staff controlling the Plaza Hotel (headed by Mr. Hector, played by Tim Curry) are too easily fooled into admitting Kevin into the hotel.

This time, Marv and Harry seem more like generic comic foils than in the first movie, which totally works against the film's overall rating.

FORMULAIC STRUCTURE

I'm not joking, the plot structure for Home Alone 2 is exactly the same as the first one. Just like with the first movie, Kevin gets into a predicament with his family, he gets lost from them, he encounters the Wet Bandits (who now call themselves the Sticky Bandits), he gets scared by a “scary” person who later becomes friends with, Kevin's family goes crazy to find him, Kevin sets up traps against Marv and Harry (this time, in his uncle's apartment under renovation), and I can keep going but I think I made my point clear.

LACK OF LOGIC

While there were some logical fallacies in the first Home Alone, the lack of logic in this movie is beyond absurd.

Kevin fools a Plaza Hotel receptionist into admitting him into the hotel through his Talkboy. He first records himself and uses a voice distortion effect on the Talkboy to make his voice deep, but anyone with remotely decent hearing can know that the effect is clearly that, an effect. In real life, the receptionist would have been on to something fishy and hung up.

Also, Marv and Harry hide out in Duncan's Toy Chest in two giant toy houses in the store in order to rob it without setting off security alarms. They hide in there for at least a day or two, and more likely than not, the workers and/or security staff at the store would have noticed the two hiding out.

When Kevin gets lost in the more seedy parts of New York, he bumps into unsavory folks that look more like characters in a b-grade horror movie than a Home Alone movie.

I can keep going, but I think these illustrate my point well enough.

CONTINUITY

To be fair, some of the continuity in relation to the first one is decent and amusing in some parts. The best parts of this have to be in relation to Marv and Harry recalling the past encounters with Kevin, such as when they grab him and Marv says to Harry “This time he doesn't have a house full of dangerous goodies.”

HUMOR

To be fair, there are some parts of the movie that pack in some good laughs, thus why this movie has a long ways to go before becoming a total goose egg. I still laugh like crazy in the scene where Marv and Harry are in the apartment under renovation, and Harry pulls on the bathroom light switch, only to have a torch light his head, followed by him screaming and dunking his head in a toilet bowl full of gasoline. The same can be said with the scene where they think they outsmarted Kevin when they ascend the staircase and dodge the flying paint cans, only to be greeted by a giant pipe wacking both of them in the face and falling through a giant hole in the floor.

Even outside of this phase of the movie, there's some funny parts, such as Kevin fooling Mr. Hector into thinking he's watching someone in the shower and uses a recording from Uncle Frank to scare him off, resulting in Mr. Hector running into a stool.

You don't have to watch the whole movie just for these parts, as you can find most (if not all) of these funny parts on YouTube.

CINEMATOGRAPHY

The cinematography of New York is quite pretty. There's good shots of many landmark locations in the Big Apple, and it was pretty funny to see Kevin roam the city and see a man dressed as Santa walking on stilts to make him absurdly tall.

SOUNDTRACK

The music in Home Alone 2 is largely the same as that in the first movie, though there's some different choices in “traditional” Christmas tunes. Even though the music sounds nice, it doesn't save the movie from its devastating flaws.

FINAL WORD

Perhaps if you're a person who doesn't mind watching movies through a nostalgic lens, you won't mind this movie. However, if you're a film fan who cares about logic and proper character development, then you won't gain much from watching Home Alone 2.

Again, just save yourself a lot of time and go around YouTube for the funny parts of the movie.

What did you think of this review?

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December 28, 2012
I still like this one but unlike the first I can't turn off the logic here, maybe because it is to much like the first.
 
December 27, 2012
the thing with the HA movie sequels--they become rethreads.
December 27, 2012
Indeed. HA2 at least had the original cast and some laughs sprinkled here and there amidst all the forumulaic crap, while the others after this have absolutely nothing to like about them.
 
December 26, 2012
You forgot to mention the scene where Mr. Hector and his ENTIRE STAFF get fooled by the image of the gangster on the TV screen! What was that about?? Maybe I'm not remembering that scene accurately, but it always struck me as beyond absurd.

I agree with your review otherwise though.  The movie is a complete retread of the first film.
December 26, 2012
That's another great point. It was scenes like that one that show the true colors of this movie being a lot like the dime-a-dozen, horribly contrived "kid up against many bad guys" movies to come in the 90's.
 
1
More Home Alone 2: Lost in New York reviews
Quick Tip by . December 24, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
I loved this movie when I first saw it back in 1992, but in recent years, my tune changed a lot since then.      This movie is simply a contrived rehash of the first one, since the formula for the first movie is exactly the same as this.  Though what made the first one good is mostly absent in this, since the characters and storyline feel far less believable (it's like Kevin and his family resorted to being what they were like prior to the end of the first movie), and …
review by . January 02, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I hadn't seen this movie in years, but it's still hilarious. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York is one of those classic comedies that will manage to make you laugh despite yourself. In fact, I'm surprised at how well it has worn the test of time. The movie is filled with great scenes and impeccable timing, sometimes approaching slapstick routines. The humor is good natured, but doesn't shy away from some curse words. Of course, Macaulay Culkin makes it all possible with his adorable acting and wisecracks …
review by . March 08, 2000
posted in Movie Hype
This movie is in the middle of my "Home Alone" movies and it's ny favorite. I think this should be number 1. It's hard to think this is a secqual. I highly recommend.
About the reviewer
David Kozak ()
I'm a morbid cynic who thinks very, very differently from most other people. Chances are, if the majority says X is the greatest in its category, I'll disagree with that notion, because I tend … more
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About this movie

Wiki

This somewhat unpleasant 1992 sequel to the blockbusterHome Alonerevisits the first film's gimmick by stranding Macaulay Culkin's character in New York City while his family ends up somewhere else. Again, the little guy meets up with colorful people on the margins of society (including a pigeon woman played by Brenda Fricker) and again he gets into a prop-heavy battle with Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. The latter sequence is even worse than the first film in terms of violence inflicted on the two villains (director Chris Columbus, who also made the first film, can't seem to emphasize the slapstick over the graphic effects of the fight). The best running joke finds a concierge (Tim Curry) at the swank hotel where Culkin is staying trying and failing to prove that the boy is on his own.--Tom Keogh
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Details

Director: Chris Columbus
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: November 20, 1992
MPAA Rating: PG
Screen Writer: John Hughes
DVD Release Date: October 5, 1999
Runtime: 120 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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