One year after Kevin McCallister was left home alone and had to defeat a pair of bumbling burglars, he accidentally finds himself stranded in New York City – and the same criminals are not far behind. (IMDb)
I’ve never seen a sequel so blatantly and blandly recycle the plot movement and motifs of the original. Some of it is given new life by the different setting (who wasn’t living vicariously through Kevin when he’s gorging on room service?) but most of it’s not. A couple funny new characters (Curry and Schneider’s hotel staff) are cancelled out by the now-comedically-flat Marv and Harry. Meanwhile, Kevin’s new batch of booby-traps cross the line from humorously harsh to just plain disturbing.
An eight-year-old troublemaker must protect his house from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation. (IMDb)
Culkin’s cute and clever Kevin confidently carries this kooky Christmas classic, with help from Pesci and Stern’s easy-to-laugh-at bungling burglars. The slapstick comedy of the third act is the obvious highlight (“Why the hell did you take off your shoes?” “Why the hell are you dressed like a chicken?”) but solid writing engages you until then (see the grocery store scene; the subplot with Marley). The redemptive arc with the family didn’t hit home though (poor Kevin didn’t need to feel sorry).
Bachelor and all round slob, Buck, babysits his brother’s rebellious teenage daughter and her cute younger brother and sister. (IMDb)
Candy is good as always, but aside from Buck’s hilariously loud entrance, he proves to be a pretty solid caregiver, enforcing curfew, keeping the creeps away, and always picking up, dropping off, and standing up for the kids. Laudable, but where’s the fun in that? The comedic formula is messed with here, and its replacement (stern dad/rebellious daughter-esque drama) feels uncalled for and kinda lame. Have Buck mature, but leave it until the end! Let’s see him take the kids to the track first.
When a girl attending a Christian high school becomes pregnant, she finds herself ostracized and demonized, as all of her former friends turn on her. (IMDb)
A touching comedy about Christianity that offers up plenty of hilarious satire amidst a smart screenplay full of more serious subversive moments (i.e. a teacher’s voiceover quoting, “Blessed are you when people insult you” as pregnant teen Mary, ostracized by her school, reads an insult on a bathroom stall) and ironic Christian music overlays. The wonderful characters don’t quite reach their potential in a story that feels a bit too brief, but the provoking messages still resonate.