Harry and the Hendersons is proof that the folks at Amblin Entertainment, a.k.a. Steven Spielberg’s production company, can’t keep using the same E.T. formula for every kiddie pic. Here, they’ve taken Big Foot, put him in Chewbacca’s leftover Star Wars costume and given him E.T.’s sweet disposition – resulting in a lobotomized hairy animal who is so wimpy, it’s painful.
Film could be titled, Big Foot Meets a Happy, Loving Suburban Family in the Woods Camping and Goes Home with Them to Become Docile When Bathed and Fed.
The excitement and suspense of running into Big Foot, later named Harry (Kevin Peter Hall), is wrapped up in the first few minutes of the film when Dad (John Lithgow) runs over the beast in the family stationwagon and takes him home to Seattle.
Theirs is a typical Spielberg house in the ‘burbs – decorated in yuppie coziness that’s soon turned topsy-turvy when Harry revives and scares the living daylights out of the Hendersons.
Mom (Melinda Dillon) is genuinely good-natured, with a bratty son (Joshua Rudoy) and a very obedient teenage daughter (Margaret Langrick) to complement Dad’s growing hysteria as Harry is sighted around town. Screenwriters milk it for all it’s worth.
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