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
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
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
Copyright © 1995 Steve Rhodes