Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (1992) / Comedy-Sci Fi
MPAA Rated: PG for mild violence
Running Time: 89 min.
Cast: Rick Moranis, Marcia Strassman, Daniel Shalikar, Joshua Shalikar, Robert Oliveri, John Shea, Lloyd Bridges, Keri Russell, Ron Canada, Julia Sweeney
Director: Randal Kleiser
Screenplay: Thom Eberhardt, Peter Elbling, Gary Goodrow
Review published March 15, 2008
A needless but harmless sequel (it actually started as a standalone, non-Honey project reworked by the studio for marketing purposes) to the special effects-driven hit, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, takes the opposite premise by enlarging the youngest of the Szalinski family, a toddler named Adam (played by twins Daniel and Joshua Shalikar), until he's about 100 feet tall and growing. There's some mumbo jumbo regarding the company father Wayne Szalinski (Moranis, Ghostbusters 2) works for, and a potential takeover by an unscrupulous power player, Dr. Charles Hendrickson (Shea, Missing), but most of that is just a set-up of plot point obstacles, and not something paying patrons really want to see -- a baby on the verge of destroying Las Vegas.
Although a comedy, it's more cute than comical, so temper expectations that it's going to be a film to satisfy the entire family. Unlike the first film, this one aims a little more toward the younger set, although the screenwriters do keep in a "dating a hot babe" subplot -- featuring Keri Russell (The Upside of Anger, Waitress) in her very first big screen role -- for the eldest boy, Nick (Oliveri, Edward Scissorhands). The premise practically writes itself, so all we can really expect is that the special effects lead the way to making this a spectacle in the grand Disney live-action tradition. Dated somewhat by today's much more impressive CGI, the budget-limited effects are hit-or-miss, with some bits obviously green screened, along with costumed stunt doubles and miniaturized sets. Nevertheless, given that the film plays with the notion that it's a monster b-movie with a baby as the monster, as well as a semi-homage to the schlocky The Amazing Colossal Man, such cheese in the FX are forgiven.
Honey I Blew Up the Kid is innocuous in its approach, making it a difficult film to dislike. Props to the crew working with the Shalikar twins for having their baby behave quite believably, and for the actors who sell the parental repartee. Perhaps the worst one can say about it is that it will hold little appeal to anyone outside of its target "family film" audience, so unless you're intending to watch the flick with your youngsters, or are just putting it on to keep them rapt with attention while you do something else, it's very unlikely to hold the interest of adults on their own. Not nearly as inventive as its predecessor, the goods are nevertheless delivered, and for that, it is modestly recommended for the young and young at heart.
©2008 Vince Leo