While we will miss Kevin McCallister, a kid stuck with chicken pox overcomes the odds in this pretty funny third installment of the holiday comic franchise.
A major deal is being done in Hong Kong. Petr Beaupre is the ringleader of a band of hitmen who have stolen a missile-cloaking computer chip and have hidden it in a remote control car. During a mix-up in San Francisco, the car is in the hands of Chicago resident Mrs. Hess, who after returning home, gives the car to young Alex Pruitt for helping shoveling snow. Alex soon learns he has chickenpox and is forced to stay home.
During his stay home, Alex discovers Beaupre and the guys looking for their car. When Alex discovers the chip, he decides to turn his home into a house of traps when a snowstorm forces Alex’s parents and siblings incapable of returning home in time. The group, consisting of Beaupre, Alice, Unger, and Jernigan, are now about to endure the biggest mission of their life to retrieve the chip while Alex is set to protect himself and the chip in his new house of traps in order to stop them before it’s too late.
Five years after Kevin McCallister’s run in New York, the late great John Hughes has decided to bring back the magic of the family franchise, but bring in a new character yet keep the setting of Chicago. In some ways, this can be said to be a reboot, but more of a sequel. The film makes the directorial debut of Raja Gosnell, who served as the editor on the previous two films and with Hughes’ involvement, Gosnell does keep that spirit of the series going in a positive way.
Replacing Macauley Culkin is Alex D. Linz, who just prior to the film, made his film debut as Michelle Pfeiffer’s son in One Fine Day. Linz does a pretty good job for his first lead role in the vein of Kevin. The great thing about the film was that Linz wasn’t trying to be a copycat of Culkin’s iconic Kevin. Suffering from chickenpox, Alex is stuck home alone while both parents go on business trips and his siblings, including a pre-Marvel star Scarlett Johansson, go to school. Of course, when Alex unleashes his house of traps, it brings out his best reactions at times.
To make the film more interesting, instead of two robbers, we have double the insanity with four hitmen who have a computer chip. Olek Krupa, Rya Kihlstedt, Lenny von Dohlen, and David Thornton bring that combination of determination with hysterics in the roles of the antagonists. The gags are amped up from one getting electrocuted via fence and one via an electric “chair” to one thug getting hit in the no no’s when one finds a rat in his pants. They are just fun to watch and in a homage to the second film, there is a gag involving a fake “shower” to trick one of the goons.
Home Alone 3 is a pretty fun sequel/reboot to the holiday classic with young Alex Linz bringing his own style to the lead character and the fun gags that just keep on coming during the holiday seasons.
WFG RATING: B+
20th Century Fox presents a Hughes Entertainment production. Director: Raja Gosnell. Producers: John Hughes and Hilton A. Green. Writer: John Hughes. Cinematography: Julio Macat. Editing: Malcolm Campbell, Bruce Green, and David Rennie.
Cast: Alex D. Linz, Olek Krupa, Rya Kihlstedt, Lenny von Dohlen, David Thornton, Haviland Morris, Kevin Kilner, Marian Seldes, Seth Smith, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Curry, James Saito.