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Ri¢hie Ri¢h Review

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The richest kid in the world, Richie Rich, has everything he wants, except companionship.

★★★★★

It was only a matter of time before Macaulay Culkin played the richest kid in the world. But after “progressing” to the teen-angst shenanigans of Getting Even With Dad, it is something of a backward career step to make flesh Harvey Comics’ pint-sized hero — surely a lad of ten or under in the original cartoon strip. Still, this larger-than-life Home Alone variant (just add money) has its moments, even if they’re almost all courtesy of token Brit Hyde as Cadbury, this generation’s John Geilgud-style snooty English butler, who ultimately proves, along with Mike McShane’s oddball professor, to be Richie’s closest ally.
It’s Hyde who also narrates the story, kicking off with Richie the baby being taught the words “Wall Street” and “blue chips” by his money obsessed father. This kid has got it all, of course, his own fairground roller-coaster, his own McDonalds, but, predictably enough, he still envies the low-life city kids having a simple game of baseball. To spruce up the plot’s more obvious sentimental leanings, bad guy Larroquette plans to steal the entire Rich fortune by putting a bomb on the plane when the family head to London to see the Queen — except that Richie never gets airborne, and it’s up to him and Cadbury to save the day.
Events hobble along amiably, if rather tamely, until a cheekily plagiarised finale set against the Riche’s own Mount Rushmore-style giant rock-face sculptures. Wearisome grown-ups might appreciate the glimpses of North By Northwest showing on TV, an in-joke that’ll no doubt be lost on the tots, hopefully, too busy soaking up the pitch perfect slapstick and dropping popcorn to care.

Another dose of Culkin charm.

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