F’s review published on Letterboxd:
I hadn't seen this movie in a long long time and in an effort to watch as many Christmas movies before the 25th I figured I'd give it a go. I wasn't really looking forward to it because I had assumed it was not going to hold up (Chris Columbus factor).
I'm happy to report that I really dug it and I'm sure most of the praise goes to John Hughes' thoughtful script. The jokes, the characters, the slow build towards the kid-tested,mother-approved torture porn of a final act all really clicked well. The humor really held up and Caulkin's performance was as good as any from a family friendly film (better than let's say geek royalty Harrison Ford in almost any film). I can see why he became a sensation.
The only weak part of the film was the most iconic part! The booby traps and such. It became action oriented rather than what it was before (characters and their relationships). Hughes' touch left and Columbus' mediocre workman-like surfaced. All in all though. I'll be showing this film to my future kids.
ps - John Candy's 5 minute cameo was on point. Just by being he exudes wholesome regular guy. Like Tom Hanks and Jimmy Stewart, the man really captured the ideal of the American regular Joe. Not bad for a Canadian!