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‘Home Alone 2: Lost in New York’

By Desson Howe
Washington Post Staff Writer
November 20, 1992


Chris Columbus
Macaulay Culkin;
Joe Pesci;
Daniel Stern;
Catherine O'Hara;
John Heard;
Tim Curry;
Brenda Fricker;
Eddie Bracken
Parental guidance suggested

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It's become increasingly clear that Catherine O'Hara needs counseling. In "Home Alone" she accidentally left son Macaulay Culkin behind when the family went on vacation. A year later, in "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York," she misplaces him again. This time, she and the family fly to Miami while Culkin wanders onto a plane bound for New York.

In the first movie O'Hara realized her oversight moments after takeoff. In the sequel, she doesn't realize her son is missing until baggage claim in Miami. Catherine, is it the money the kid made in the last movie?

At any rate, the follow-up to the third highest-grossing movie in history is underway. But Culkin, conveniently toting the family's holiday money, figures he'll make the most of this. Checking into the Plaza -- with suspicious concierge Tim Curry watching his every move -- he starts a rapidly rising tab. When Culkin bumps into thieves Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern, he realizes there's no escape from this sequel.

"Home Alone" filmmakers John Hughes and Chris Columbus go for repetition over comedy. You can expect:

The rivalry between Culkin and older brother Devin Ratray, in which our mumbling hero battles with a sibling who looks nothing like him.

Culkin's strategic use of an old movie soundtrack, this time to con Curry and bellman Rob Schneider into thinking they're being threatened by a real gunman.

Culkin's arsenal of grievous booby traps, which cause Stern to get his backside stapled and his head smashed by flying bricks, and Pesci to receive a nonelective scalping.

According to unofficial critics Alexander, Jessica and Alison (age range 10 to 12), this was great. Evidently, the younger you are, the more you'll enjoy this. Just don't expect your older companions to laugh. And when Culkin bonds with pigeon lady Brenda Fricker in the unspeakably boring middle, don't be surprised if the adults escape to the lobby to check for phone messages, read the paper or wish they too were home alone.

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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