WHAT IS IT?
It's the live-action movie based on the popular comic strip character Dennis The Menace, by Hank Ketcham. In the UK the film was released under the title 'Dennis' to avoid confusion with the comic strip character of the same name who appears in issues of the Beano.
The film starred Macaulay Culkin-look-a-like Mason Gamble in the title role of Dennis and acting legend Walter Matthau as long suffering neighbour Mr Wilson.
The story followed the often disastrous adventures of young Dennis and his numerous confrontations with Mr Wilson. Dennis The Menace was written by John Hughes and was released in 1993 to mixed reviews. Despite the less than positive response from some critics, Dennis The Menace made over $117 million from a budget of $35 million, making it a financial success. The film was followed by a direct-to-video sequel in 1998 called Dennis The Menace Strikes Again. None of the original cast reprised their roles for the sequel.
WHAT WAS GOOD?
Ok, I'm going to go out on a limb here when I say this but....
.....there was a lot to like about Dennis. A heck of a lot.
The story of the troublesome tyke could have easily turned into the usual kiddie fodder (you know, the sort you would expect to find in a bargin bin in Poundland) however it didn't.
Taking on elements of Home Alone (1990) and throwing in some good performances from Walter Matthau, Joan Plowright and Christopher Lloyd, Dennis was a fun little family movie with a big heart. Kids had someone they could identify with in Dennis (and who shared their view of the adult world), and adults had Mr Wilson, the grumpy son of a biatch that they could identify with. In fact Matthau's casting was perfect and really helped sell the film especially during the final act when Mr Wilson realised that he'd been too harsh with Dennis.
WHAT WAS BAD?
Viewed as a family film there's not a lot of 'bad' in Dennis...
.... however trying to raise the standard above the realms of a light hearted comedy will only leave you disappointed.