The Home Alone films are some of the most popular Christmas movies of the past 25 years (except for 3 and 4, they are terrible). The reason these films were successful was because Kevin McCallister was instantly relatable to kids. Kevin was the youngest child who was constantly ridiculed and ignored by the older kids and treated as a nuisance to the adults. Every kid has a time where they feel like that. Kids can latch on to that. You want to root for Kevin, which in any film rooting and relating to the main protagonist is the one of the most important things for the movie to work. Because of a highly implausible series of events Kevin ends up home alone (the title!) and thwarting the idiot robbers through an elaborate series of traps that made every kid born in the 90’s wish that dumb criminals would break into your house. This movie and the first 3 Ninjas movie gave me the false impression that all criminals are complete morons (which is an incredibly dangerous thing to believe). Kevin ruins their plans and eventually ends up being loved by his family at the end. It’s a clear cut case of character resolution in Kevin’s story arc. He starts off as a mean spirited frustrated kid who hates his family and ends up responsible and learns of the importance of family all while gaining the respect of his older siblings and the rest of said family. It works. And everyone ate it up. I sure did. I really enjoy Home Alone, although number 2 is my favorite, which leads me to my big point… which is that in Home Alone 2 Kevin could have killed two people (He could have easily killed them in Number 1 as well).
In Home Alone 2 Kevin ends up lost in New York (hey, the title again!) through another series of unlikely events. Basically throughout the movie he uses the items in his father’s bag that he took from him before getting separated at the airport to help him survive in the city, things like credit cards, cash, and plenty of batteries for his beloved Talkboy. After getting run out of the Plaza Hotel by the crime fighting team of Tim Curry and Rob Schneider for using his dad’s credit card he uses the address book to find where one of his uncles lives. He finds that they aren’t home and the house is in shambles because they are renovating. It becomes obvious that this is where the booby trap showdown is going to take place. He sets up his elaborate traps and lies in wait for Marv and Harry, the Wet/Sticky Bandits who are determined to kill Kevin after he foils their plan to rob a large toy store. I always wondered why they chased after him when they already had the money. Forgetting about Kevin and moving on would probably be the smarter thing to do. I mean they were already fugitives anyway, why take unnecessary risks trying to knock off a kid? That would get you far more jail time than robbery. When they catch up with him, they end up yelling back and forth from the street to the roof with Kevin and this is where the potential murder trail starts.
Kevin hits Marv with not one, not two, but FOUR bricks from 3 stories high. The average brick weighs around 4 1/2 pounds. This is hitting someone in the head from what looks to be at least 40 feet high. I’m no scientist, but I’m pretty sure that 4 bricks to the forehead from that height would either A) Kill you, B) Render you a human vegetable, or C) Injure you so badly that chasing a 9 year old kid is the last of your worries while you bleed out on the sidewalk. And that is just one trap! Marv later falls through a hole in the floor face first, Harry has a dozen HUGE wrenches fall on his head, Marv gets electrocuted by 100 volts of electricity, Harry gets blown up by a toilet full of kerosene, Marv has a 100 pound bag of cement fall on his head, both of them get crushed by a flying pipe to the face which later lands on them, and then they fall 3 stories into paint cans and wooden platforms. Pretty much every single thing that happened to Marv and Harry could have EASILY killed them. But you’re thinking, “So what? Kevin was defending himself! He wouldn’t get punished.”… Not exactly.
Kevin was trespassing on private property, otherwise known as breaking and entering. If you remember the movie Kevin had to climb up the outdoor garbage chute just to get into the house. That is technically breaking in, whether the house belongs to a distant uncle or not. A neighbor or someone walking by could have easily seen a kid trying to break into the house and called the police. Since he is a minor that could lead to fines, probation or even time in a juvenile detention center, and this is WITHOUT attempted murder, which is exactly what happened to Marv. How is that? He wasn’t defending himself in his own home. You as a citizen have a right to defend your home and property. Everything that happened in the first Home Alone is justified because they were inside his house. I have listened to police officers tell me that you can use force when someone is IN YOUR HOUSE. Marv was standing on the sidewalk and Kevin was in a house that didn’t belong to him chunking bricks from the roof. Sorry Kevin, you might end up going to juvenile court, or at least getting sued and sucking all the Florida vacation money away from your family.
And here’s another thing that always bugs me: How did no one hear any of the commotion that was caused by Marv and Harry nearly getting killed multiple times? If New York is the “City That Never Sleeps” then that street must be the one exception. You never see another soul or even a car passing by. It baffles me when I really think about it. And where are all the police in this movie? We don’t see hardly any till the end. Why didn’t Kevin just go the police in the first place? Have you ever been to New York? There are cops EVERYWHERE. Especially around Central Park where all of this takes place near. He had pictures and a tape proving that Marv and Harry were after him and that they robbed the toy store. It’s gift wrapped for the police and the news, and when you also consider that Kevin would be helping lead to the capture of escaped fugitives it’s a win-win for everyone involved. Why risk his life just to humiliate them again?
But in the end everything works out fine and Kevin is the hero once again by putting the bad guys away, saving Christmas for a bunch of kids in a hospital, making friends with a sketchy bird lady, and getting a crap load of presents for his family. I know this may seem like I don’t like the movie, but I love Home Alone 2, it’s extremely entertaining and it really takes me back to my childhood. This is was just one of those things where when I sat and actually thought about everything that was happening it kinda blew my mind how everything could play out in a potential real life scenario. But then again this is Hollywood, who cares!? I’m too busy laughing at Marv getting shot in the man parts by a staple gun.
Random Thought of the Day
Do I think Kevin McCallister is a genius? Absolutely. He’s like a kids version of MacGyver. I bet that kid grew up to be either a A) Engineer or 2) A Jigsaw style murdering madman
I felt the same way when I thought through the lyrics to Carrie Underwood's “Before He Cheats”. Some poor backwoods girl has taken her Louisville slugger to both headlights & then found herself in a heap of legal trouble. Also I love Home Alone. Good post!