Baby's Day Out Review

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Three bungling kidnappers are given a painful runaround when their infant target escapes.


More than 20 of John Hughes' screenplays have now reached the big screen and his colossal output shows no signs of drying up. Here the prolific screenwriter-producer (and sometimes director) turns out yet another variation on the Home Alone theme with the criminal element getting a lot more than they bargained for when they harass a child in the course of a misdemeanour.

This time the twist is that the object of criminal attention is a mere baby who crawls but hasn't yet learnt to walk. The baby also has rich parents (notably an underused Laura Flynn Boyle as his mother), making him an ideal kidnap victim for Mafioso Mantegna and his two sidekicks Joe Pantoliano and Brian Haley. The devastatingly simple storyline has Baby Bink (identical twins Adan Robert and Jacob Joseph Worton) escape the kidnappers to follow the plot of his favourite bedtime book Baby's Day Out through a bus, a department store, taxi cab, zoo and building site before his parents and the FBI catch on. Pursuing the infant, the crooks find themselves beset by various violent mishaps throughout while the baby remains miraculously unscathed.

So far, so Home Alone, but the villains, led by a curiously out-of-place Mantegna, lack any real conviction, while the accidents they undergo aren't, on the whole, nasty enough to be really funny. Further flaws include the sheer stupidity of no one noticing a baby crawling through a crowd and villains never once having to change a nappy.

For a would-be cleverly calculating blockbuster, this makes far too many blindingly obvious blunders.