The whole gang is back for HONEY, I BLEW UP THE KID, the expected sequel to Disney's surprise 1989 hit, but somehow the magic has fled--if there ever was any in the first place.
Rick Moranis returns as Wayne Szalinski, the crackpot inventor who shrunk his family in HONEY, I SHRUNK THE KIDS. Wayne is now installed in a comfortable Las Vegas suburb and is working for a conglomerate led by snooty superbrain Hendrickson (John Shea). The conglomerate has bought his
size-alteration device and has a cadre of top scientists poring over it to try and figure out how it works. They can't get the machine to function, and won't listen when Wayne thinks he has an answer. Undeterred, Wayne sneaks into the lab over the weekend to test his theory, bringing along son
Nick (Robert Oliveri) and baby Adam (Daniel and Joshua Shalikar). Wayne's attempt, of course, works all too well.
Adam gets in the way of the ray, which alters his body chemistry so that whenever he's near an electrical field he grows in size. Getting near a microwave oven causes him to sprout to seven feet in height. An attempt to calm him down in front of the television causes him to double that size. Then
Hendrickson gets into the act by baby-napping Adam and attempting to transport him back to the lab in a truck past high-tension lines that cause him to shoot to 112 feet. Completely beyond anyone's control, Adam toddles off towards the bright lights of the Vegas strip.
Wayne chases Adam with his old prototype ray gun, hoping to get him to stand still long enough to zap him back to normal size. It's only at the end, however, that he hits on the idea of zapping Mom (Marcia Strassman) to the approximate size of the Statue of Liberty, allowing her to subdue the
overgrown infant. Everyone gets zapped back to normal, except for Nick and his new girlfriend, Mandy (Keri Russell), who have been in Adam's pocket all along.
Despite the impressive special effects, HONEY, I BLEW UP THE KID offers few surprises. The visual gag of a giant-sized infant is the only real joke the film has and it wears thin in a hurry. The plot is perfunctory and simple, presumably to cater to the attention span of a pint-sized audience. The
slapstick is labored and the film as a whole is surprisingly emotionless.
The cast is capable from the top down, including nice cameos by familiar faces like Lloyd Bridges, Gregory Sierra and "Creature Features" veteran Ken Tobey (THE THING). But there's little for them to do besides react to the special effects. There's little tension and few real laughs. What there is
plenty of is shrewd product placement. Adam's clothes, which grow along with him, are dotted with familiar trademarks that are in your face through most of the film. Las Vegas is so big, bright and shiny, you'd barely believe that anyone actually gambles there.
Director Randal Kleiser (GREASE) does what he can to inject life and wit into the proceedings. While searching for his old ray gun in a corporate warehouse, Wayne is irritated to come across instead the "Rosebud" sled from CITIZEN KANE. But such moments are few and far between. Too much of the
time, HONEY, I BLEW UP THE KID plays like a Joe Dante (GREMLINS) film without Dante's anarchic sensibility and, especially, without his sharp, playful comic intelligence.
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- Released: 1992
- Rating: PG
- Review: The whole gang is back for HONEY, I BLEW UP THE KID, the expected sequel to Disney's surprise 1989 hit, but somehow the magic has fled--if there ever was any in the first place. Rick Moranis returns as Wayne Szalinski, the crackpot inventor who shrunk his… (more)