Honey, I Blew Up One Of Our Kids, But I Somehow Shrunk You In The Process Of Blowing Up The One Kid: Baby Adam's Wild Ride is a new Disney 3-D feature taking over theaters on Friday. Probably many of you know that Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves, the straight to video release in the Honey... franchise, is Curly Wurly's favorite movie of all time (despite the fact that it's 2-D, or 'flat,' as we call that genre now). A 'new wave' of cinema, ...We Shrunk Ourselves, worked as both a character study and a parable about the ephemeral nature of 'self' in American culture. You probably noticed how the film maker's meticulous attention to both milieu and his interest in the psychology of the main characters established the tremendous dichotomy between the film's central themes of ancient vs. modern; authentic vs. inauthentic; and sacred vs. profane. This series of oppositions was never fully resolved, which explains why film lovers and students of cinema still debate the merits, or lack thereof, of the film.
You can imagine that when Curly Wurly was invited to a sneak preview of the latest in the series, my expectations were huger than a gigantic, ill-tempered baby terrorizing a small town! In this, the final chapter in the Szalinski family saga, Baby Adam (played convincingly by Andy Richter) is blown up by his father's laser at the exact same time as his mother is shrunk to comical size. This should have been a scene brimming with the pathos of the earlier installments in the series, but, disappointingly, it just felt schlocky and overdone. Perhaps it's just been too long since we've seen the Szalinskis to care what size they are anymore, but to this movie critic the scene just didn't work. To me there is little to celebrate about this movie. Unlike the last film, there is hardly any characterization or depth at all. It didn't work as a comedy, a drama, a dramedy, a comeda, or a horror movie! Laughs are few and far between (though, the scene of Baby Adam, a scholar of the 'Of Course, My One Year-Old Can Read' system, reading Anna Karenina got quite a rousing response). There are a few exhilarating car chase scenes (as pictured in the movie poster, above). But, at 107 minutes, the film felt overly long, and the excessive and implausible CGI montages and 3-D scenes didn't add anything to the story. All in all, I think the tagline says it best: we're not s'posed to enjoy this ride. This is by far the worst sequel to Honey I Shrunk The Kids yet! Still, I suspect that this will be the blockbuster of the summer, and it will probably be up for a few Oscars once the awards season rolls around.