Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

(John Hughes, USA, 1992)


Home Alone 2: Lost in New York is a not terribly captivating sequel. Like virtually every movie either produced, directed or written these days by the once mighty John Hughes (Sixteen Candles, 1984), this is mainstream filmmaking at its most grotesquely mechanical.

Every detail in this story of Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) lost in the Big Apple is either a heavy-handed set-up or a tired pay-off, topped with a contrived re-run of the violent burlesque visited upon crooks Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern in the first Home Alone (1990).

When he’s not doing a bad job of recycling tarnished bits of Frank Capra, Hughes resorts to recycling his own previous successes. Thus we have a bizarre series of jokes about the grubby, homeless psychotics walking the mean streets of New York as in Only the Lonely (1991) or Driving Me Crazy (1991); and Kevin’s dexterity with phones and other gadgets makes him a mini Matthew Broderick from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986).

But finally it’s horrible little Macaulay who renders this film completely inoperable: who can take seriously the bathos that springs from his obnoxious mouth in a distracted, machine-gun monotone?

MORE Hughes: She’s Having a Baby, Weird Science, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

© Adrian Martin November 1993

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
home    reviews    essays    search