HOME SWEET HOME ALONE shows sympathy for the devil in this continuation of the HOME ALONE franchise. We learn what motivates Jeff McKenzie (Rob Delaney), the supposed antagonist, to go after Max Mercer (Archie Yates). He thinks the tyke stole a family heirloom when the boy and his mom visited his home. It’s for sale because he’s unable to nail down a job. He and his wife can’t maintain the lifestyle their family is used to.
But when the McKenzies have extended family visiting, the craziness goes bonkers for not only his family, but also another which takes inspiration from the original films. They are at hair’s breadth because the entire gang is headed to Tokyo for the holidays on two planes, and the McKenzies need a miracle to avoid moving. The film examines the lengths both go when something “goes missing.” I feel for the McKenzies more than the Mercers because there’s better story development with them. We see it in Jeff and Pam’s reasoning on why they should or should not invade the Mercer home.
HOME SWEET HOME ALONE paints the kid as a bad guy because he took something from the McKenzie home. He also wants something on the donation table at the Church and doesn’t know that’s for others less fortunate than himself. He’s not all that likable at first, and as audiences, can we accept just how snobbish he is? This role reversal doesn’t quite work.
Director Dan Mazer (BORAT) and writers Mikey Day and Streeter Seidell have a product where it won’t appease long-time fans. Anyone new can appreciate the humour for what it is, but the imagination put into the traps Max makes isn’t as creative as the original. That’s because Disney is now managing this franchise instead of 20th Century Studios (formerly 20th Century Fox which is now owned by the Mouse House) and they can’t condone Wile E. Coyote levels of hurt.
The original films are slyly acknowledged and we get one cameo from the duology. And yes, I’m ignoring the later films since the lead was recast. This movie isn’t entirely terrible because of that inclusion. As for why the McCallister effect happens from time to time, there’s no reason. It just happens. Had the families involved can simply slow down and smell the roses, none of thos chaos would happen and everybody can be happy.
HOME SWEET HOME ALONE is now streaming on Disney+.