Underrated and Overrated: “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York”


Illustration by Amelia Chiarelli

Amber Zhang, Layout Assistant and Staff Writer

“Home Alone” (1990) and its sequel “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” (1992) rank among the highest-grossing Christmas films of all time. However, while the first film perfectly blends the holiday spirit with the antics of 8-year-old Kevin McCallister, “Home Alone 2” falls short of creating a new and intriguing storyline and instead just seems like an attempt to capitalize off the massive success of the original.

In the sequel, Kevin (Macaulay Culkin), now 10, is yet again relegated to the attic after an altercation with his older brother Buzz (Devin Ratray). It seems neither of the McCallister parents knows how to properly set the alarm clock because the morning of the trip is just as chaotic as the past one, and while Kevin actually manages to get to the airport this time, he ends up on the wrong flight to New York instead of Florida.

“Home Alone 2” follows a very similar storyline to the first movie but doesn’t quite capture the charm of its predecessor. Director Chris Columbus tried to change things up by shifting the setting from the McCallisters’ hometown of Chicago to the bustling atmosphere of New York, but not much else was altered to give the movie a distinctive feel. From the setup to the reappearance of the Wet Bandits, who have escaped prison to perform more robberies, nothing is original. Kevin’s use of television lines to fool his foes seems overused to the point where it’s no longer clever—just repetitive. There’s even a “pigeon lady,” who seems to be a Central Park copy of Old Man Marley from the first film. Altogether, it seems that the director made some questionable choices to imitate the original “Home Alone” and get it out as soon as possible to profit off the hype of the first movie.

Yet, Kevin’s cheeky precociousness is always entertaining, and his antics, heroic or not, always seem to get him into endless trouble. His honest advice is endearing, and his childish spirit infectious. This movie is worth a watch simply to see more of Kevin McCallister’s tricks , but shouldn’t be considered a holiday classic like the first “Home Alone” is. That being said, “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” is guaranteed to spread light-hearted Christmas cheer, so in the words of Gangster Johnny, “Merry Christmas you filthy animals.”