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Richie Rich

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Richie Rich

Starring: Macaulay Culkin, John Larroquette
Director: Donald Petrie
Rated: PG
RunTime: 95 Minutes
Release Date: December 1994
Genres: Comedy, Kids, Family

*Also starring: Edward Herrmann, Jonathan Hyde, Christine Ebersole, Stephi Lineburg, Michael McShane, Claudia Schiffer

Review by Steve Rhodes
1½ stars out of 4

RICHIE RICH is a classic kid's tale retold and updated (read more expensive and elaborate toys) for the 90s. We have the rich kid who has everything. In this case, it is everything electronic. He is missing only one thing in his life--friends.

Richie Rich (Macaulay Culkin) is worth $70,000,000,000 as he will be the sole heir of the Richard Rich fortune. His Mom (Christine Ebersole) and Dad (Edward Herrman) are classic Brady Bunch types except they have enough money to buy an entire continent. Perhaps, Bill Gates will see this show and wonder if his kid in 10 years will be like this. Now, that does seem real, but I digress.

Unlike most zillionaires, the Rich family has hearts of gold. His Dad has never laid off a single person in his entire vast empire. He wants to spend more money on factories and then give them to the workers.

Of course, Richie is great in baseball having Reggie Jackson as his personal coach. When he sees a group of street kids from the local factory that his Dad owns, he wants to play with them, but the feeling is not mutual. In the classic story, he would want to be one of them. Not here. In this show, he likes his million-dollar gadgets and would never consider wanting to be anything other than super rich. He does want to invite them over to his house to play.

The reason to see the show has nothing to do with the silly plot above which goes on and on. The reason is a lot of extremely imaginative toys. I could never describe them. It is in the visuals that they are interesting. One is a million dollar mechanical and electronic bee. Sounds boring, but it is quite fanciful. Sad to sad, that the electronic toys and the goodie goodie family are not enough to carry the movie.

On the bad side, why o' why do we have to have the bad guys shoot at the Rich's with big realistic handguns? Why do we have to have a powerful laser cannon that would have been useful in Dessert Storm fired at them? They have no place in a kids' movie. These scenes scared my son (almost 6) a lot, and he sat in my lap and hid his eyes during them.

Also, on a small note, why did they put so much lipstick on Culkin in some of the scenes? I understand the greasy kid hairdo, but not the lipstick. I know his lips are red, but not that red.

The show is a mixed bag. It has great gadgets, and is mostly a classic kid's fable a la the Brothers Grimm. The scene where they teach all of the future CEOs at huge desks set up classroom style is really cute. On the other hand, we have all of those guns and the overall silliness of the show.

In the end I gave the movie a thumbs down. My son said "it was good and not so good," and he gave it a thumbs sideways. The movie runs too long at 1:35, but does have a nice Road Runner cartoon on before it. It is incorrectly rated PG. For all of that realistic shooting, I would rate it PG-13. Be careful about taking kids under 7 or 8 as it may scare them. I give the movie * 1/2--mainly for the toys.

Copyright 1995 Steve Rhodes

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