If you learn anything from Home Sweet Home Alone, it’s that kids are bad. Not because the kid in this 2021 reboot is a laughing sociopath torturing adults with an array of horribly vicious traps. No, children are to be feared because of their insatiable thirst for content.
This is not enough for the streaming serviceto serve as the original Home Alone or Home Alone 2 for you to watch this Christmas. There must be a New Alone at home! Children are not interested in old movies or wooden toys, grandpa. Children must use the existing IP. New content, mom! We need to have new content!
Which brings us to Home Sweet Home Alone, streaming now on Disney Plus. It’s a reboot of the much-loved slapstick comedies of the 1990s about an 8-year-old sage left behind to fend off clumsy burglars. The replacement for the original star Macauley Culkin is Archie Yates (the funniest Nazi child of the). He plays the mischievous Max Mercer, a resourceful 10-year-old forced to defend his family home from a pair of thieves who attempt to steal a priceless heirloom.
And look, it’s good. If you’ve seen Home Alone a million times, well, now there’s a new one. Have at it. Who knows, you might love it. Your children may be fascinated. I don’t know your life, ma’am!
So yeah, enjoy Home Sweet Home Alone aka Home Alone 6. Yes, you read that right – everyone saw Home Alone from the 1990s and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, obviously. But there is also a third film involving North Korean terrorists (1992); a fourth in which Kevin is played by another child and his parents divorced (2002); and a fifth involving ghosts, or something (2012). No doubt Disney Plus has you covered for your McCallister Cinematic Universe (McCU) rewatch marathon.
Incorporating more IP into the content funnel, Home Sweet Home Alone was obviously designed to power the streaming algorithm. But that doesn’t explain who it’s really intended for. Written by Mikey Day of Saturday Night Live and Streeter Seidell, this new movie is peppered with jokes about OJ, real estate and erasing your search history. There is a Scarface benchmark and a common gag on data migration. Kids love it!
Home Sweet Home Alone takes its time, filling its first hour with an endless series of “Oh, it’s him from SNL / that HBO sitcom,” as we meet several families and several children who are absolutely irrelevant. Aisling Bea is awesome, but Chris Parnell is screaming most of his part behind a door, the gangly guy from Veep keeps saying things, and I’m still not sure which comedian I vaguely recognize is supposed to be the father of the primary child. .
The COVID pandemic disrupted filming, so maybe it’s a miracle this movie exists. It has been updated for the modern era with the inclusion of a voice-activated household assistant, although it appears the authors wrote it down on a sticky note and pasted it on a whiteboard. , then forgot to come back and write jokes. Still, Kevin’s brother Buzz is in it. It says “Home Alone” (you know, like the title of the movie). What do you want more?
The filmmakers are at least trying to flesh out the villain characters, although that’s a terrible idea. The new twist on the goofy burglars from the original film is, wait, you’re gonna love this: a married couple trying to save their house after the husband struggles to find work. Boo! Whistling! Let’s set them on fire and stick pins in their faces! Hilarious!
Ellie Kemper and Rob Delaney provide the film’s biggest bright spot as a couple victimized by a child who lives in a house much nicer than them. But unlike the clear good-versus-evil pleasure of the first film’s righteous violence inflicted on bad criminals, it’s unclear who’s supposed to enjoy seeing decent, economically-pressed people tortured. Some of the chaos is funny as Kemper and Delaney do their best with physical comedy, but aside from a delightfully surreal gag about a VR headset, the pratfalls lack the demented cartoonish imagination of the original films.
So Home Sweet Home Alone exists, you’ve already paid for Disney Plus, whatever. Merry Christmas, dirty animals.
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