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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Dennis the Menace (1993)

(aka: Dennis)



Reviews and Comments

John Hughes' Home Alone formula is put to better use in his lesser known Dennis the Menace, a film version (written by Hughes and directed by Nick Castle) of the infamous comic strip. The reason, namely, is that the excruciatingly painful slapstick pratfalls forced upon the villain are relegated to the end. The rest of the film's humor exploits Dennis' knack for wreaking havoc by his good intentions to the fullest -- and it's a riot.

The cast is noteworthy. Dennis, believe it or not, is not played by Macaulay Culkin, which is a plus right there. He's played by newcomer Mason Gamble, who captures Dennis' oblivious enthusiasm and nonchalance so thoroughly and effortlessly, it's hard to imagine anyone else in the role. Walter Matthau is both funny and sympathetic as the put-upon neighbor Mr. Wilson, and Christopher Lloyd appropriately hams it up in the role of the villain.

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