Richie Rich (1994) starring Macaulay Culkin, John Larroquette, Edward Herrmann, Christine Ebersole, Jonathan Hyde, Michael McShane, Mariangela Pino, Stephi Lineburg directed by Donald Petrie Movie Review

Richie Rich (1994)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Macaulay Culkin as Richie Rich

Macaulay is One Son of a Rich

I will go out on a limb here and say that "Richie Rich" isn't a bad movie but one which is desperately dull. In fact you could say "Richie Rich" is simply desperate because just 4 years after Macaulay Culkin had won audiences over with his cute little child act in "Home Alone" here we have him not only doing some of the same jokes as he takes on a bad business guys but at 14 he was no longer a little boy and so is surrounded by tall actors to make him look smaller. There are numerous other reasons why whilst very young children might find "Richie Rich" fun anyone else will find it bordering on the mind numbingly depressing.

As the son of millionaire philanthropist Richard Rich (Edward Herrmann - Big Business), young Richie Rich (Macaulay Culkin - Home Alone 2) wants for nothing, from a theme park in the garden to a McDonald's in the mansion. But one thing is missing in young Richie's life and that is friends, not rich kids but friends who only care is having fun. But that is not the only issue as top executive Lawrence Van Dough (John Larroquette) has a nefarious plan to get rid of the Rich family and take control not only of the business empire but also their vast wealth. So Richie must defend the family business and home from Van Dough when his parents go missing.

Jonathan Hyde as Herbert Arthur Runcible Cadbury in Richie Rich

Now in fairness I never knew that "Richie Rich" was based upon a comic book character, the fact that the comic ceased production before the movie was released suggests that maybe it wasn't the ideal source for a movie in the first place. But that aside what gets thrown at us in "Richie Rich" is all very obvious from this rich kid having everything including a McDonald's in his mansion and a roller coaster in his back yard through to him being lonely having no normal friends of his own age. It all seems so boring because this side of the movie basically gives us Richie being sad and lonely, to making friends who learn that all the money in the world can't by you happiness.

Well that is basically the first half of the movie and then in the second half we get the nefarious Van Dough who tries to steal the family business and wealth. Yes you can guess what is coming because this means we have young Richie and his new friends trying to stop Van Dough with various kiddie pranks. It basically feels like a play on "Home Alone" with Macaulay instead of having to use makeshift weapons has more expensive toys at his disposal.

All of which will probably be quite good fun for really young children who will hopefully enjoy all the visual humour such as Richie's butler Cadbury having to dress up in biker gear. But for those who like Macaulay have entered their teens having watched him in "Home Alone" will probably find it all incredibly childish. And as for any adult who finds themselves having to watch this with a child, well there is nothing to appeal to an adult mind.

You kind of have to feel for Macaulay Culkin as whilst he did make money from these movies he had grown up a little in the years prior to making "Richie Rich" yet here we have the studios trying to make him look younger and act in the same way he did 4 years earlier. Macaulay does it well but it is little wonder that this was his last movie for a decade as doing any more of this would have been soul destroying. The irony of it is, that whilst Rory Culkin who has a bit part is too young there was Keiron Culkin who would have been the perfect age to carry this off and make it that little bit different.

Aside from Macaulay well as already mentioned he is surrounded by a series of tall actors including Edward Herrmann, John Larroquette and Christine Ebersole. But it is Jonathan Hyde as Richie's snobbish butler Cadbury who ends up being the most entertaining part of the movie and that is purely down to him ending up in biker gear.

What this all boils down to is that "Richie Rich" isn't a bad movie, I am sure really young audiences will find all the visual humour to be funny. But for anyone else, from those who grew up watching Macaulay Culkin to adults who end up watching this with a child will find it all rather dull and obvious.