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IN SHORT: It's funny. Really.
Tell me if you've seen this one: A roadrunner passes a coyote on a desert road...
Yeah, of course you've seen it on TV thousands of times. And now that I've made my point and pissed off all the Fox PR people by invoking a Warner Brothers cartoon, we can turn our attention to Home Alone 3, the coming of which elicited painful groans from almost all of the people Cranky knows.
Cranky couldn't wait for the coming of Home Alone 3. For months, I've been preparing to slice and dice an unneeded sequel to a flick franchise that lost its chops with movie number 2. In my head I was preparing a list of nasty things to write. Things like "double the villains, double the pain -- for the audience."
Cranky hates it when he wastes all that precious energy.
Home Alone Creator John Hughes proves that there is life in a franchise that, like the aforementioned cartoon, doesn't change much from episode to episode. Home Alone 3 isn't that much different from HA1. Since Macauley Culkin is now too big to be cute, HA3 stars a new kid and family and keeps pretty much everything else the same. From the requisite "AARRGH!" and the grouchy elderly neighbor to the missing parents and thieves who break in to the vacant houses in the upper class suburb, it's all the same. Yet it's different.
This time out, instead of a pair of stupid houserobbers, we are introduced to a quartet of international corporate thieves. Their target is a computer chip that can make ICBM's invisible to radar and other defense systems. Or something like that. The chip is hidden inside a toy car, a bag gets switched at an airport in San Francisco and before you know it, you're back in the Chicago suburbs where li'l Alex (Alex D. Linz) is stuck at home with the chicken pox. He's got a older brother and sister at school. Mom who wants to stay home, but has to pop out for an hour to handle a crisis situation at work. You know the rest.
In the sneak Cranky attended, a thousand parents and kids were laughing hysterically as "intelligent" hi-tech thieves find themselves bamboozled by the homespun contraptions of a kid with way too much energy to be suffering from chicken pox, and way to young to know who Rube Goldberg was. Mr. G, upon whose work all these gags are based, would have been pleased.
First time Director Raja Gosnell edited the previous installments and has not failed to keep up the frenetic pace, when push comes to shove.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. And even though Cranky rarely rates kid flicks, since they are all destined for bigger sales as videos and thus all rate $3, were he to set his own price to Home Alone 3, he would have paid...
Double the villains, double the laughs.
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