Ri¢hie Ri¢h (1994)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Ri¢hie Ri¢h</strong> (1994)

(In French, On TV, December 2018) There is a lot about Ri¢hie Ri¢h that doesn’t make sense if you don’t already know that it’s from an older lower-profile comic book of the Casper stable. The setup, clearly, is grade-school wish fulfilment, what with the protagonist being the richest kid in the world, able to afford whatever he wants despite issues in being in the kiddie .0001%. The film adopts much of the comics mythology wholesale, even as ludicrous as it can sound in a live-action production. Alas, the plotting is obvious from the get-go: No friends, lost parents, expensive gadgets, greedy third party, trusty butler and so on. Macaulay Culkin stars as Richie Rich but seems so uninterested in the role (which, to be fair, requires some detachment but not that much!) and the rest of the actors don’t look all that invested either. The result is a humdrum movie: imaginative in moments, slightly obnoxious even when it claims that family is more important than wealth, and far from achieving its fullest potential. But then again 1990s comic book adaptations were still hit-and-miss affairs, being unwilling to deconstruct their own fundamentals and still treating the audience like idiots most of the time. There are much better choices than Ri¢hie Ri¢h no matter how you want to consider it.

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