Picks and Pans Review: Home Alone 2

UPDATED 11/23/1992 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 11/23/1992 at 01:00 AM EST

Macaulay Culkin, Catherine O'Hara, Daniel Stern, Joe Pesci, Brenda Fricker

Though equal to its original in quantity of sadistic slapstick, this anticipated sequel (see story, page 58) is dull and strikingly uninspired. Little Culkin is still fun, and the enjoyable O'Hara, as his mother, gets more lines. Puerile producer-writer John Hughes, though, doesn't exploit the fact that Culkin is left on his own in New York City. He doesn't even let the kid ride a subway. The only New York personality Hughes uses is Donald Trump.

The premise this time is a smidgen more plausible: When Culkin's family tries to catch a plane to Florida at Chicago's chaotic O'Hare airport, little Mac wanders mistakenly onto a flight to New York City. Pesci and Stern, whom Culkin tormented in Home Alone, show up in New York City and corner Culkin in a small Manhattan building that's under renovation (and full of bricks, paint cans and other ammunition). Hughes and director Chris Columbus dwell on a sequence in which Culkin bounces bricks off Stern's increasingly bloody head.

The whole film is similarly unsubtle. (PG)

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