Ri¢hie Ri¢h (1994) (mini-review++)

(If you’re curious, my review process. It’s also pasted at the end of this post. I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me.)

(***all-purpose SPOILER ALERT*** there may be some in this review)

acting 5

directing 4

effects 4

editing 4

writing 3

SW SCORE: 20

2 out of 5 🐙

++

I loved Home Alone. I enjoyed Home Alone 2. I can’t remember if there was a 3, but I am sure I didn’t see it. Give me funny physical comedy any day, but the story needs to evolve a little in a franchise. But even though this was Culkin at the height of his child actor powers playing the titular character, I had no desire to see this movie. I pretty much figured it would be a milquetoast kid’s flick. But it’s based on a comic book, so I have sworn to watch every single movie based on a comic book. 

I was surprised with the circumstances of Richie’s origin story. He ascends to the top of his father’s company because it appears his father, Mr. Rich (Edward Herrmann) has died and his enemies at the company have made it look like a suicide. That’s a pretty dark beginning for a kid’s movie. I get that there needs to be evil board members in a movie about a business kid but isn’t claiming their rival CEO is dead enough? Do they have to make it a suicide?

The plot is pretty simple. The ambitious and evil board member, Van Dough (played with sufficient smarm by John Larroquette) wants to take over the company and now that he has Richie’s father out of the way, he just needs to make the young kid fail at being a CEO. Easy, right? Of course, Richie shows surprising competence and is determined to save his father’s company.

You can guess where it goes from here. It’s predictable. And there’s no respite from this rote story with a fresh take by the filmmakers. Culkin basically plays the same character he played in Home Alone. Their personalities are indistinguishable. Don’t look for any surprising twists. The one big surprise is telegraphed so much that it can be seen from 2020, and this movie was released in 1994. The movie is largely boring because the fights between good and evil largely center on business meetings. Even the obligatory montage scene is focused on these matters. There are few if any good jokes. 

It’s not like the original comic book was a bravura piece of original and edgy screenwriting. it was pretty basic, too. I guess in that sense this is a faithful adaptation. 

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(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, effects: cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.

(2) Octopuses (0-5 🐙, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)

(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feeling…not that SW score is scientific…but this one is even less so

(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant)

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