Dunston Checks In

on January 12, 1996 by Kim Williamson
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While he was at USC film school, Ken Kwapis was working on a script called "Pandamonium," which involved those teddy-bear animals running amok. Obviously still a fan of hairy hijinks, director Kwapis here fashions a tale of an orangutan named Dunston running amok in a top-class New York hotel, much to the displeasure and joy, respectively, of a workaholic hotel manager (Jason Alex- ander) and his lonely son (Eric Lloyd), the latter of whom befriends the ape.
   Pandas are slow-moving creatures, so one would expect a faster pace with the monkeyshines here. But such is not the case. As recorded, the action is not only repetitive but not all that speedy; there's just so much an orangutan can do in a confined space. More troubling, given the intended youngsters-and-their parents audience, is that the intended warm-n-cozy family message comes through in only diluted fashion. The two key reasons that "Home Alone" worked--antics and affection--are the key ingredients missing here. Starring Jason Alexander, Faye Dunaway, Eric Lloyd and Rupert Everett. Directed by Ken Kwapis. Written by John Hopkins and Bruce Graham. Produced by Todd Black and Joe Wizan. A Fox release. Comedy. Rated PG for some mild language and sensuality. Running time: 88 min.
Tags: tarring Jason Alexander, Faye Dunaway, Eric Lloyd and Rupert Everett. Directed by Ken Kwapis. Written by John Hopkins, Bruce Graham, Produced by Todd Black, Joe Wizan, Fox, Comedy
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