the fresh films reviews

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Home Alone 3 (1997)

Preceded by: Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

Raja Gosnell
Alene hjemme 3
104 minutes
John Hughes
Hilton Green
John Hughes

Cast includes:

Alex Pruitt Alex D. Linz
Karen Pruitt Haviland Morris
Jack Pruitt Kevin Kilner
Stan Pruitt Seth Smith
Molly Pruitt Scarlett Johansson
Mrs. Hess Marian Seldes
Alice Ribbons Rya Kihlstedt



Whether you're a seasoned moviegoer or not; you can try to be as open-minded and unbiased as you like when viewing the not exactly over-anticipated Home Alone 3. But there's no denying that John Hughes, much in the same way as Robin Williams, is about to get stuck in quasi-cosy and quasi-funny ostensible family movies with a high level of repetition.

Nobody in the movie business will slap your hand for making a sequel, or even a second sequel, to a successful film, even if the original was a thematically questionable family movie to begin with. And that's fair enough. Granted, Home Alone was the dream movie for any child back in 1990, and this second sequel desperately wants to be the same for today's children. And so here we go. To my surprise, the script at first glance seems to be more serious and intelligent than in any of the two previous outings, even if nobody cares much about science or logic ("If that [chip] goes in a missile, it can't be stopped!" Oh really?), but then again that's not the point with films like these. Early on, Home Alone 3 demonstrates such dramatic potential that I'm starting to suspect the real reason why Macaulay Culkin was omitted. But then, after half-an-hour, we can tentatively come to the following surprising conclusion: the Home Alone series has become a thriller.

The bad guys seem to have been picked straight from James Bond or Mission: Impossible, which initially feels like a relief compared to the two clumsy houseflies from the previous films. The nitwits instead found new hunting ground in 101 Dalmatians, and I suspect they brought John Hughes' iron fist with them. The final point is reinforced by the appearance of young Alex Linz as Mr. Culkin's successor. This equally adorable, but not quite as funny kid is more comfortable with dramatic material than Culkin, which makes the intro quite effective. But don't think you're in for more than a wee breath of fresh air, because once the familiar concept gets going, John Hughes is back with another xeroxed script completely devoid of inventiveness or fun. It's not just the fact that we've seen all this before, but for some reason the bad guys are being beat up in an increasingly brutal manner. So when one of them ends up being run over by a lawnmower, you're wondering if you might as well put on Peter Jackson's Braindead for your kids. There's not much left of John Hughes once so creative mind. If only he would use his tasteless rehash to make horror movies instead. That way we would at least not feel obliged to laugh at his images.

Copyright 26.12.1997 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang
English version 05.01.2015 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang