HOME SWEET HOME ALONE (DISNEY+) (2021)
SYNOPSIS: Ten-year-old Max Mercer has been accidentally left behind while his family is in Japan for the holidays. So when a married couple attempting to retrieve a priceless heirloom set their sights on his family's home, it is up to Max to protect it from the trespassers...and he will do whatever it takes to keep them out.
Like Home Alone 3, 4 and 5, no one will remember Home Sweet Home Alone down the road, the latest reboot of a classic franchise to hit streaming service, Disney+. Taking over Chris Columbus in the director’s chair is Dan Mazer, the writer of Borat, Bruno and the director of Dirty Grandpa. Not exactly the right man to take on a family’s movie. On hindsight, no one can, not even Columbus himself.
A mischievous Brit kid, Max Mercer (Archie Yates) is left home alone while his entire family has fly off for a vacation in Tokyo. In the meantime, Jeff (Rob Delaney) and Pam McKenzie (Ellie Kemper) suspecting that Archie has stolen their precious antique doll earlier decides to break into his house to retrieve it. As expected, the McKenzies is going to face a hard time as Max has prepared a galore of booby traps awaiting their arrival.
The core of Home Sweet Home Alone remains unchanged despite more than three decades have passed since the original. But rather than the case of two dim-witted thieves, Home Sweet Home Alone features two good people suffering serious injury over a minor misunderstanding. Jeff has lost his job it seems and the family is planning to sell their home due to obvious financial issues. When they realised their heirloom aka creepy doll is worth at least $200K, the possibility of salvaging their home becomes a reality.
Well, it kind of feel bad watching the McKenzies being subjected to all sorts of painful pranks. Maybe it’s just a question of morality. Watching the two baddies played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern getting their much deserved comeuppance sounds more desirable. Even though the current version is filled with a series of slapstick gags and cartoonish violence, you feel strangely detached from the entire hodgepodge of ideas.
Rob Delaney and Ellie Kemper did a magnificent job in the physical comedy department but they are constantly let down by the poorly executed plotting. The only good thing that comes out of it is the return of an adult Buzz McCallister (Devin Ratray), the brother of Kevin in case you forgot. Buzz is now a cop while the movie hints of what an adult Kevin is doing. Though Macaulay Culkin never makes an appearance, it's still a good thing by the way.
Maybe Home Sweet Home Alone is not made for boomers who grown up on the originals. Perhaps the current generation of young kids and millennials will appreciate the reboot more. If you love a mean-spirited Christmas flick with occasional funny moments then this is a good choice for the entire family. The rest of us I assumed have better choices elsewhere.
Review by Linus Tee