Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal…


“Credit card? You got it!” – Kevin McCallister

I can already hear the cries of the masses: “But…but…how could you pick ‘Home Alone 2: Lost In New York’ over the original!”

Well, for me, it just so happen to be one of those rare occasions when a Hollywood hit is followed up by something that is bigger and better in every way. Like “Terminator 2: Judgement Day”. Or “Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit”.

And if you don’t believe me, here’s a handy list that covers just a few of the reasons why I’m right:

So there.

I was always a cautious child. My mum tells me that when I was a baby I didn’t learn to walk until quite late on – not because I couldn’t, but because I needed to be absolutely sure it was a safe and proper thing to do. I didn’t learn to ride a bike until I was 12 for the same reason.  I would punch a kitten before I’d ever do a bungee jump. I am the complete antithesis of an adrenaline junkie. Which makes it all the more peculiar that two of the absolute favourite films from my childhood (“Jurassic Park” and “Home Alone 2”) both involved kids in potentially perilous situations. I would have been dead in 15 seconds if left in a kitchen with a velociraptor. And I would have broken down crying and wet myself if I’d ended up in New York by myself.

But, thankfully, Kevin isn’t anything like me, and he gaily trots about the Big Apple like a veteran Japanese tourist, buying fireworks, befriending millionaire toy store owners, and totting up a room service bill of $967, and I can vicariously live through him from the comfort of my own beanbag.

I think what I loved so much about this film as a child is how Kevin is portrayed as infinitely smarter than all of the adults in the film: Harry and Marv, the two hapless escaped convicts; the entire concierge of the Plaza Hotel (New York’s most exciting hotel experience!); every state policeman and detective in America; and his own staggeringly inept and forgetful parents.

It’s also fun to see Tom-and-Jerry-style slapstick violence portrayed in a live action film. There aren’t many other PG’s I can think of where the baddies get electrocuted, showered with bricks from the top of an apartment building, or hit fully in the face by a bollard. But this to me is perfectly cancelled out by the schmalzy, gooey centre at the core of the movie; that the thing you are left to take away from the movie is that no matter how much your family and relatives can annoy you, especially over the Christmas period, you just wouldn’t want to be without them.

Even if they can be a bunch of little trout sniffers…