Reviewed by: Brett Willis
|Featuring:||Rick Moranis, Eve Gordon, Bug Hall, Stuart Pankin, Robin Bartlett, Allison Mack, Jake Richardson|
|Distributor:||Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures|
If you can’t guess, the plot of this film revolves around wacky inventor Wayne Szalinaki (Rick Moranis) being unable to resist the urge to use his shrinking machine just one more time.
Moranis is the only holdover. Diane is now played by Eve Gordon; Amy and Nick are grown and gone, and Adam (a baby in the previous episode) is now a preteen played by Bug Hall (“The Little Rascals”). New characters: Wayne’s brother, sister-in-law, niece Jenny and nephew Mitch (Stuart Pankin, Robin Bartlett, Allison Mack, Jake Richardson).
Two parallel storylines unfold. As all four parents have been shrunk and are navigating the house looking for help, the kids are having an unauthorized party and making a mess. The “giant” bugs and other stock sight gags are given some new spins.
Virtually profanity-free. There are no deaths or serious injuries, and the tone of the film is such that any experienced movie viewer knows there won’t be any.
After Jenny (a young teen) sets up an all-girl party, some boys crash it. They push Adam and Mitch around and wreck stuff, and one of them hits on Jenny but she tells him to buzz off. The crashers are driven out, aided by Jenny’s half-inch-tall father who speaks through a rewired stereo and pretends to be the voice of God. I found that a little offensive, but in its context it seemed like an appropriate “war tactic.” Later, Jenny’s mother compliments her on how she handled the pushy boy and did some other things right, and can be trusted. Somehow it’s forgotten that if Jenny hadn’t set up the party in disobedience of parents’ orders in the first place, there’d have been nothing for the bad boys to crash.
Adam and Mitch do a few naughty little-boy things. There’s a sequence where half-inch Wayne stumbles on a magazine the boys were reading, and remarks “I didn’t see this coming.” After much audience anticipation, we see that it’s only a sports magazine (Wayne assumes that all his children will be scientists and won’t have time for an interest in sports).
Overall, it’s a typical sequel, re-working a proven formula and giving the special effects people another chance to show their stuff. it’s good for a night of escapist family fun, and contains a few topics for later discussion.