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25 мая 2013  •  

Friday December 12, 1997

"Home Alone 3" follows in the, er, proud tradition of "The Sting 2" and "Jaws 3-D," movies that have nothing to do with the original film that inspired them, except a flaccid adherence to the formula that made the first a success.
If you have a name-brand product, need you bother to clutter the equation with name-brand stars? Macaulay Culkin has evolved from the once-adorable moppet of the first two flicks to a teenager who could afford his own wing of the new Getty museum. Likewise, the producers figured out that virtually anyone with a SAG card can feverishly mug and indulge in pratfalls, so what's the point in ponying up for pricey talent like Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern,knockoff designer handbags,1. Microsoft, Culkin's erstwhile antagonists?
The principal constant in this series' current outing is John Hughes, the inexplicably successful master of teeth-rattling, mean-spirited slapstick of the sort that he brings not only to his own increasingly banal material ("Career Opportunities," "Baby's Day Out"),president and founder of CharityWatch, but also to crass updating of beloved classics ("101 Dalmatians," "Miracle on 34th Street," "Flubber"). He's so busy these days, he probably saves time by reducing his pitch meetings to a single, succinct sentence--"Impossibly cute kid/animals/wad of goo sadistically rout bad guys, resulting in wacky mayhem until an insanely maudlin conclusion."
Hughes' scenario this time around is characteristically bland. An invaluable Air Force computer chip is stolen--one bad guy intones dramatically, and expositorily, "Whoever possesses this chip could dominate the entire region." (Evidently, someone did research finding that children are more impressed by the word "region" than,cheap louis vuitton handbags, say, "planet.")
So, of course, said chip improbably winds up in the hands of our hero, Alex (Alex D. Linz, Michelle Pfeiffer's son in "One Fine Day"), who is suddenly stricken by a rare strain of chickenpox that induces neither fatigue nor discomfort and takes care not to mottle telegenic faces. Which means Alex, and Alex alone, is around to detect this crack group of international villains descending upon his neighborhood. In their quest to recapture their prize, these elite ne'er-do-wells search one whole house a day (apparently, it's not that vital to locate the microchip).
And even though Alex gets in endless trouble for perceived prank calls to the police--the bad guys, of course, elude Chicago's finest, if not an 8-year-old--his mom still sees fit to leave him at home with no protection against the Big Bad World, or vice versa.
Unfortunately, this takes way too long to set up. Hughes handed the directing chores to Raja Gosnell, a veteran film editor who astonishingly allows the first two-thirds of the film to sag badly.
The slapstick finale is vintage Hughes--crude (two guys get their genitalia smashed; one is showered with fecal waste), unnecessarily rough (two guys endure Dolby-ized electroshock; a woman absorbs two violent cracks to her delicately sculpted face; one guy takes spray-paint in his eyes) and simultaneously overly elaborate and drearily predictable. Kids will laugh as much as adults groan.
If Hughes isn't pummeling his characters senseless, his wit is benign to the point of nonexistent: His idea of a huge laugh is sending Dad off to work in a suit coat, shirt and tie--and boxer shorts. He also creates a smart-aleck parrot who serves as a sort of pre-pubescent Greek Chorus, cracking witless one-liners that might amuse 8-year-olds. No danger of your sides splitting here.

Home Alone 3, 1997. PG for slapstick violence, language and mild sensuality. A John Hughes production, released by 20th Century Fox. Director Raja Gosnell. Producers John Hughes,replica designer handbags, Hilton Green. Screenplay John Hughes. Director of photography Julio Macat. Editor Bruce Green. Music Nick Glennie-Smith. Production designer Henry Bumstead. Running time: 1 hour,aaa replica handbags, 45 minutes. Alex D. Linz as Alex. Olek Krupa as Beaupre. Rya Kihlstedt as Alice. Lenny Von Dohlen as Jernigan. David Thornton as Unger.