Alone, on Christmas, in a strange city. It’s the sequel to the classic Christmas caper involving a young boy forgotten by his family when leaving for Christmas vacation in France. Home Alone 2 (1992) follows the same storyline as the original, the McCallister family decide to go away for the 25th of December again. This time determined not to let anything go wrong they stay stateside and head to Miami for some fun in the sun. Lady luck was not on their side this year either.
Once again Home Alone 2 sees Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) finds himself battling his enormous family, resulting in his banishment to the loft room for the night. This time not forgetting to check every member is accounted for the McCallister’s and co head off to the airport in a manic rush hoping to make their flight down south. Amidst the confusion at the airport Kevin finds himself thinking he is following his father onto the plane; however on arriving in New York City he soon finds himself alone, again.
To add more drama to this familiar situation he finds himself in, the two mastermind thieves Harry and Marv (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) from the previous escapades find themselves in the same city, at the same time, in the same locale. Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, and equally the best time of the year to go on a ‘shopping’ spree, those presents won’t steal themselves. Only they will have to take down Culkin in the process.
Being a huge fan of the first film meant I expected the sequel to not live up to the first’s quality and originality. I am afraid I was right. Home Alone 2, still being vaguely funny, was not in the same league. The storyline had been recycled and based in New York City instead of Chicago; with the idea of using the same bandits and stunts to fend them off. It just doesn’t work as well because of the plausibility factor. Would this really happen for a second time, would he really get let onto a flight he was not supposed to be on. This was pre 9/11 so I suppose anything goes. Putting that to the side, Home Alone 2 just wasn’t as entertaining. The predictability element of what would happen was far too high for my liking.
Culkin fitted into the role just as he did before, playing Kevin expertly with a slight air of maturity. However I felt as though he needed to be given something new and fresh to take part in instead of the same old routine that we have now become familiar with. Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern still stole the show as the likable villains Harry and Marv. The terrible twosome play off of each other with a chemistry of friends who have history. Their part in Home Alone 2 works, it’s just a shame that the storyline didn’t do their skills any justice.
Home Alone 2 could have been so much better than it was. Perhaps the expectations were already set too high, but it doesn’t mean that it couldn’t be matched. It did not have the same Christmas festive air as the first, that was put on the backburner as the actual idea of him being in NYC took over and not that he was apart from his family during a ‘family’ holiday. Kevin – pay attention next time!