Directed by Dan Mazer
Stars- Archie Yates, Ellie Kemper, Rob Delaney, Aisling Bea and Timothy Simons
Reboots have a place within the film industry. There are times where a reboot has not only been a success, but crucial into introducing new audiences to the original source material. Home Sweet Home Alone is not one of those. Where as successful reboot attempts have not only added to the franchise it was reviving in a positive manner. They also played a role in honouring the source material for what it was and the impact it had on audiences. This not only fails to bring anything new or interesting to the franchise, it lacks any interesting references or Easter eggs to even show that it admired the roots of the Home Alone franchise.
After being left home by himself for the holidays. 10-Year-old Max Mercer must work to defend his home from a married couple who tries to steal back a valuable heirloom.
You see the writers failed to understand fully what made the original film the hit it was. It wasn’t just the traps and fighting off the burglars that captivated audiences around the world. Rather it was the heart behind the story. We’re built up a backstory enough to care about Kevin, the way he’s misunderstood, and we get to understand where he’s coming from in a busy family. Not only that, we get a fleshed out family behind him- all of who are recognizable for their interactions with Kevin or minor lines that make them memorable. We get none of that with Archie Yates‘ Max. Yates who showed his acting skills in Jojo Rabbit, has nothing to work with in this. The character has no backstory, and is barely misunderstood in the chaos that is the night before the family travels. All that is known about Max is that he’s British and comes off much more entitled than Kevin ever was. His family has no personality traits- and outside of Aisling Bea as the mom, i could not point out a single member casted as a family member in the role they're supposedly playing.
Harry and Marv were compelling antagonists because we were able to understand and witness how truly villainess the dastardly duo can be. Neither Ellie Kemper nor Rob Delaney get to do anything as the parents that take over the antagonistic role this time around. For starters the logic jump that is needed to believe that two adults would resort to breaking and entering a house for an expensive doll they believe got stolen from their home, rather than you know trying to communicate especially when they find out Max is at home. Not only this but the characters aren’t in the slightest antagonistic, even in their first introduction with Max- they aren’t the ones coming off bad, rather the script makes Max come off in the wrong.
Them being antagonists that aren’t necessarily antagonists, just two poorly written characters that have no common sense, leads to uncomfortably in the final sequence of the movie. It is hard to find any pleasure in watching this couple get beat up by some pretty brutal traps when we know in the end that the only true crime they have committed is being written to be morons.
On a comedic level there is very few moments that hit. A couple small smiles throughout the attempts to be funny but nothing truly strong. Which is to be expected in a children’s movie that cracks OJ Simpson jokes and makes jokes that refer to deleting ones browser history, but then in the same vein they go and make a fart joke shortly after.
In the end, Home Sweet Home Alone is a weak attempt to use the name of a great original film with an incredible legacy- to get viewers to Disney+. We never get to enjoy Yates spending time at home or shopping or any of the other things we see Kevin McAllister get up to. Losing this and the heart of the original as a sacrifice for cheap jokes and a rushed story to get to the pranks- makes this reboot feel even more insulting than the third and fourth movies we’re for the franchise when they were released.