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Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York is a 1992 American Christmas family comedy film written and produced by John Hughes and directed by Chris Columbus. It is the second film in the Home Alone series and the direct sequel to Home Alone. The film stars Macaulay Culkin in the lead role as Kevin McCallister, while Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern reprise their roles as the Wet Bandits. Catherine O'Hara, John Heard, Devin Ratray, Kieran Culkin, Gerry Bamman, Tim Curry, Rob Schneider, Dana Ivey, and Brenda Fricker are also featured. Eddie Bracken plays a minor role, while Ally Sheedy (who previously worked with Hughes in The Breakfast Club), Bob Eubanks, and Donald Trump make cameo appearances. The movie was filmed in Winnetka, Illinois, O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Miami and New York City (which was star Culkin's hometown at the time). The exterior of Duncan's Toy Chest in New York City, was filmed outside of a downtown Chicago office building located at 209 South La Salle Street. Despite receiving mostly negative reviews from critics, the film became the second most successful film of 1992, earning over $173 million in revenue in the United States and over $358 million worldwide.
From there, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York repeats the plot of the first movie. Kevin bumps into the same two comical criminal failures, Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern), discovers their plot to steal the donations to a children's hospital from Kevin's favorite toy store and plots to stop them using paint cans, bricks, and anything else he can throw, drop, or light on fire.
Though zany physical comedy is the basis of Home Alone, it worked then because Kevin was a normal 10 year old who enjoyed shooting a BB gun in the house, sledding down the stairs, and eating junk food for dinner. While the first movie's premise was absurd, Kevin wasn't. By the time he set household traps, we believed in his ability to take care of himself. But in Home Alone 2, he's duping the adult staff of a hotel and hanging out with a homeless pigeon lady. It's absurdity that's one small step away from the series' straight-to-video stepchildren (Home Alones 3 and 4).
Amidst the cartoon violence, Culkin's childhood charm still carries the film while Pesci and Stern provide a few laughs. But that can't make up for Home Alone 2's moronic Saturday-morning mentality. In fact, it seems the movie was made solely to sell Talkboys (and let's not forget the pink Talkgirls) to kids. In between the brick throwing and face smashing, there's another money shot of Kevin using his tape recorder to trick the grownups. While the film has been forgotten by most, that childhood nostalgia is enough to keep those of us who grew up setting traps around the house and telling everyone to 'Keep the change ya filthy animal' coming back to get lost in the magic of Christmas movies, even when the movie sucks.