Making the Grades
From the infamous John Hughes, Baby's Day Out is a movie that tries to turn an animated world into real life. Baby Bink, as he is affectionately called, is supposed to have his annual portrait taken. However, the high-class photographer has been supplanted by three crooks (led by Joe Mantegna), who use the opportunity to get into the mansion where Bink lives. After getting the parents to leave the room, the crooks take Bink out a window and drive off. The rest of the film involves the adventures of Bink as he gets away from the crooks and toddles through the streets of an unknown city, with three bumbling kidnappers trying to keep up with him.
Of course, John Hughes gave the world two Home Alone movies, and Baby's Day Out follows the same plot formula to the letter. Obviously Hughes feels that the public will fork out even more money to see stupid crooks and unnaturally smart (and lucky) children.
Again, my biggest problem with this premise is that cartoon violence doesn't seem as funny in real life. Watching a baby get run over by a semi and play in the middle of a busy street is more than a good laugh. At least in this movie the crooks are not out to kill their little victim, as they were in Home Alone, but you still quickly grow tired of watching these guys beat and abuse themselves.
Finally, these movies require a big stretch of the imagination to work. You have to accept that policemen cannot smell smoke, adults cannot see a baby, and thieves are infinitely stupid. Hughes obviously feels his audience is capable of such ignorance, because if you don't concentrate on dismissing these obvious flaws, this film flops. I guess I didn't keep my eyes shut long enough.