HOME SWEET HOME ALONE Review; "A Fun Family Film For The Holidays That Kids Will Have A Blast With"

HOME SWEET HOME ALONE Review; "A Fun Family Film For The Holidays That Kids Will Have A Blast With"

Home Sweet Home Alone hits Disney+ tomorrow, and while it's by no means an instant classic, this fun family movie is bound to be appreciated by kids (and parents) looking for a holiday distraction...

Released in 1990, Home Alone has become a beloved Christmas classic despite receiving a mixed reaction from critics at the time. Heck, it even has its own LEGO set now, but those who praise it as some sort of untouchable masterpiece seem to forget it was only ever really a pretty good kids movie with middling reviews (blasphemy, we know). The reason we bring that nostalgia factor up is that the response to the first Home Sweet Home Alone trailer was almost comically negative, with the pitchforks quickly brought out and cries of "They’re ruining my childhood!" ringing out across social media. Like the original it borrows from, this reboot is by no means a masterpiece, but it is an entertaining family film we’re confident your kids will deem a must-see holiday movie. 

You’ll no doubt be able to figure out the premise of Home Sweet Home Alone; 10-year-old Max is left behind when his family heads off to Tokyo to celebrate Christmas, but soon finds himself forced to contend with two burglars he believes plan on selling him. In reality, they’re a regular couple convinced that Max stole a valuable antique doll from them (which they need to sell in order to save their home) after he and his mom stopped by their open house. It’s a weird, weak premise and one that leaves us to wonder whether Disney thought it might be too much in 2021 for actual burglars to target this kid and want to do him harm. There is, admittedly, something a little sinister about that which may have seemed a tad more innocent back in 1990, of course, but this change makes it harder to buy into Max’s battle with Jeff and Pam. Despite that, their inevitable clash is hilarious, with all manner of traps and PG violence that older viewers should also get a good laugh out of. 
 


Between this and Jojo Rabbit, it’s fair to say Archie Yates is a star, and he does a terrific job as Max. Over thirty years on from the original, it’s inevitable that this will be a very different kind of kid to Kevin McCallister, especially with today’s technology meaning that being home alone... well, you’re not exactly a goner if there’s no landline! Home Sweet Home Alone handles that side of things well, and cleverly incorporates it into Max’s story in a lot of fun, unexpected ways. Rob Delaney and Ellie Kemper are the perfect choices for the hapless burglars, and when it comes time to get beaten up by Max, they give it their all. Aisling Bea, Kenan Thompson, Ally Maki, and Devin Ratray (returning as Buzz McCallister for a brilliant cameo) all impress in supporting roles, with Bea, in particular, standing out as someone we’d like to see a lot more of in Hollywood. 

Home Sweet Home Alone takes a little while to get going, and it’s likely to be more of a brief diversion this Christmas rather than a movie we’ll be talking about even a couple of years from now. Like Flora & Ulysses and Godmothered, this is a Disney+ Original there to increase the streamer’s catalogue of family flicks, and just like the Disney Channel movies of old, it never really rises beyond a certain level. Despite that, Dan Mazer, who directed Dirty Grandpa but is perhaps best known for his work alongside Sacha Baron Cohen on characters like Ali G and Borat, proves an inspired choice to helm this reboot and definitely adds some edge to a few of the jokes while proving himself a master of physical comedy. With a cast clearly having fun and all in on the silly, breezy tone writers Mikey Day and Streeter Seidell are going for, the filmmaker delivers a fun family escapade for the holidays that's only best avoided if you go in hoping to recapture that childhood nostalgia the original might still provide. 

It won’t necessarily go down as a classic, but Home Sweet Home Alone is a fun family film for the holidays that kids will have a blast with, while there are enough gags to make it an enjoyable diversion for parents as well. 
 

Hawks

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