Home Alone 2: Lost in New York is a superhero movie. Go ahead and laugh. I’ll wait.
Yes, it is still a family Christmas movie. But underneath that shiny veneer is a tale of a young superhero who is just beginning to hone his superpowers against a duo of dim-witted indestructible supervillains.
While watching through the film, I noticed that protagonist Kevin McCallister was able to perfectly anticipate just about every single move that the Wet Bandits were going to make, down to the meter. It starts outside Duncan’s Toy Chest, where a simple contraption consisting of a board of wood and a five gallon pail is turned into a catapult. What are the chances that each of the Wet Bandits will leap onto the specific parts to cause Harry to fly through the air and total a car?
That brings me to my next point. Harry and Marv are not typical bandits. They are in fact supervillains with the power to take much more punishment than regular human beings. While it’s not apparent in the first film, the second makes it quite obvious. Only their lack of intelligence and thought prevents them from seeing this fact for themselves. The accidents that the duo survive are far beyond the scope of anything that appeared previously and many would be fatal to normal human beings.
Possibly fatal mishaps include:
- Harry goes flying through the air with enough power to pretty much level a car
- Marv is bashed in the face with multiple bricks from a multi-story building
- Harry sticks his flaming head into a toilet and sends an explosion through the whole level of the building
- Marv is crushed beneath a stack of paint cans
- Marv is then electrocuted
- Both Harry and Marv take a giant heavy pipe to their faces, which then falls on them
- Harry and Marv fall from a multi-story building
Not only are they able to survive these possibly fatal accidents, as well as other minor injuries in a short amount of time, they are also uninjured. Falling great lengths only slows them down while they slowly pull themselves up. There are other hints to their superpowered ways. For Harry to smash that car from the low height he fell from, his mass must have been much higher than a standard human’s. He could possibly be made from super-condensed carbon, which would also explain the immunity to all the other traps that Kevin had set up the whole time.
Kevin’s traps are expertly set up. Too expertly set up for simply guessing the best parts of a house to set up traps. Kevin knew. Starting the previous Christmas, he started to gain the supernatural ability of foresight. He knows exactly where to set his traps to cause maximum damage without even realizing it. This foresight may actually control him to a point. The compulsion to change the batteries in his Talkboy led directly to his flight to New York and encounter with the Wet Bandits. Like Batman and the Joker, Kevin McCallister and the Wet Bandits are destined to battle. When the Wet Bandits escaped prison, they went to New York. Kevin’s foresight led him there to bring them to justice.
While fitting snugly in the standard Hero’s Journey archetype, Home Alone 2 goes past the standard tropes of the journey and has all the makings to fit snugly in the superhero film genre.
- A protagonist getting to know his superpowers.
- Superpowered villains who return after being incarcerated.
- An inevitable encounter between the two sides, brought about by fate.
These two films are superhero films disguised as Christmas family comedy. The Home Alone series will never look the same again.