Monday, June 29, 2020

Richie Rich (1994)

As a kid I saw plenty of movies, naturally, even if I wasn't yet a full-on film aficionado. One such film was Richie Rich. It's one of those movies where I enjoyed when I was very young, but saw it at a later age and really disliked it. That can happen. You enjoy things more as a carefree young'in, but when you're a stern and serious 10 year old, you balk at such childish material! Then when you're actually older you appreciate them more, and loosen up. So how did Richie Rich fare? Was it the =? Or was it truly bad? After all, it does star Macaulay Culkin, and I've never been a fan!...

Richie is a young boy, and only child of the wealthy Rich family. He gets to live out the wildest dreams of any kid, and live in the lap of luxury, but he still feels like he's missing something. =, and desiring new friends, Richie seeks out some working class kids and tries making friends, with mixed success at first but eventually succeeding. He'll need all the help he can get though when his parents disappear in a plane crash, and the scheming Lawrence van Dough plans on stealing the family fortune...

Richie Rich is a very fun picture! It's your standard 90s kids film, yeah, but it does a lot right. It's not a masterpiece or anything, but as a simply entertaining movie, it succeeds. It also doesn't try and rip off Home Alone, thank God!

This moves along at a brisk pace, never getting bogged down in anything. I really liked how the story takes a little while to kick into gear. Instead of just having the whole movie be a siege on the house while the parents are kidnapped, we get introduced to Richie and his everyday life, see his efforts at making new friends, an other stuff, all while the villain and his plans are gradually set up. It's about halfway throughwhen the first part of his plans kick in, and the last act when he's outright trying to = Richie. I liked this, as it meant the movie was never slow or boring.

Something that surprised me is how the movie doesn't shy away from openly discussing murder and 'suicide', a villain shooting at a kid, or even swearing! Hold your horses, America, you're acting awfully European here! But I kid, children's media that acts with less restraint is loads of fun!

The movie looks great. There's lots of care put into the set design, with a lush setting, an abundance of nice little details

The characters here are all well realised. Richie is a good protagonist, likeable and relateable, despite being the most unrelateable child on earth, and the faithful butler Cadbury is a great companion,  Mr. van Dough is a fine antagonist, bad enough to be effective, and getting downtrodden enough without ever coming across as too weak.  He's downright devious in some parts! Richie's friends are pretty basic, and I couldn't tell you the first thing about them as individuals, but they're all fine as a whole. His parents meanwhile are amusing and goodhearted, even if the mother is sometimes insanely vain/priorities. And the family's resident mad scientist Professor Keenbean is a good addition, supplying some nice gadgets to help the story along, and provide some gags.

The acting here is all good. Macaulay Culkin is pretty decent. He's not as lively as he could have been, but otherwise is fine. And he's not annoying either, which I consider a miracle! John Laroquette is great as the dastardly villain, while Edward Hermann and Christine Ebersole are a hoot in their scenes. The kids playing Richie's new friends all do fine jobs, while the ones who play his more snooty friends are amusing in their short time onscreen. Mike McShane is = as Professor Keenbean, and lastly Johnathan Hyde is great as Cadbury!

Harvey comics have a long history and a marvellous set of characters, and if they all got movies like this, I'd be a happy man! 1994's Richie Rich is a fun time for sure, and worth watching, even if =...

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