Alexander "Alex" Pruitt is the overall deuteragonist of the Home Alone franchise. He was an 8-year-old boy and the main protagonist of the third Home Alone Film, Home Alone 3. He replaced Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, star of the first two films, but was replaced by Finn Baxter (Christian Martyn) in the fifth film.
Alex is rather cute, sweet and adorable, especially when he is sick, but he also has a serious side as well when it comes to breaking the law. Like Kevin McCallister, Alex shows strong initiative and maturity when on his own, and is also calm, clever and resourceful in the face of danger, as well as quite tech-savvy. Among his gadgets are a sighted TV remote control and a video camera which he configures with a direct feed to his TV. Alex also stands on his own when he is called into question after “falsely” alerting the police when he sees the criminals. Although he is very close with his mom, not much is known about his friends or relatives, since he is sick for most of the film.
Alex finishes shoveling snow for his snooty neighbor, Mrs. Hess, who then pays him with a remote control car that she mistook for her own bag at the airport during a luggage mix-up. Alex returns home with the car, which unbeknownst to him hides a powerful missile defense microchip sought after by a group of professional thieves, Petr Beaupre, Alice Ribbons, Burton Jernigan, and Earl Unger. The next day Alex is left home alone with a case of the chicken pox when his mom Karen has to run by the office for a while. The four criminals initiate a house-to-house search for the toy car, starting with a house close to Alex's.
While Alex is exploring the neighborhood with his telescope from the window, he spies Petr Beaupre in the house and immediately calls the police. Unfortunately the criminals leave and expertly cover their tracks by the time the cops arrive. The next day Alex is left alone once more, and again sees Beaupre snooping around in another house. He calls the cops, who, once again, find no sign of a break-in (similar to the story of the Boy Who Cried Wolf). After getting a serious talking-to from the police chief, Alex decides to take matters into his own hands by catching the criminals himself. The next day, he rigs the chip-containing car with a video camera and directs it inside the next house that Beaupre is searching. Alex gets implicating video footage on the camera, but the criminals discover the car and remove the tape. When they try to open the car and get the chip, Alex manages to outwit them and steer the car safely back home.
Wondering why they pursued the car after they got the tape, Alex disassembles the car and discovers the chip. After reading the number, he calls the Air Force Recruiting Office, who alerts the FBI, who then head for Chicago. That evening, the four crooks test a theory that Alex has the chip and alert him that they are coming. He resolves to subdue them by himself and makes preparations to booby trap his house. The next morning he manages to deflect an attempt by Alice to enter the house and after his mom reluctantly leaves him again, puts the finishing touches on his traps. As the four crooks invade the house, they fall right into each trap he set. Although he has a quick run in with Petr, Alex takes refuge in Mrs. Hess's house. The FBI finally make it to the neighborhood, arrest all four of them, and recover the missile chip. Alex is then reunited with his entire family and is promised a large reward for finding and returning the stolen chip.
- I guess you have to be 35 before anyone around here listens to you.
- Can you free Mrs. Hess? She's very old and very cold.
- (apologizing to the chief of police) Excuse me for being a good citizen.
- You're not gonna find me up there, you big, dumb, law-breaking knuckleheads!
- No matter how old they are, no matter how big they are, they can't beat me here. They can't beat me at home.
- So, did you bring me anything?
- Alex Pruitt is different than Kevin McCallister (from the first two Home Alone films) in several ways:
- For starters, he used intellectually-minded traps to capture the villains and hold them there until the police arrived. Kevin's traps were largely designed to simply maim the burglars and slow them down.
- Secondly, Alex fought four international terrorists while Kevin fought two small-town crooks. Furthermore, Petr Beaupre had been wanted by the FBI for seven years, but Alex snared him in with his booby traps and ended his career on the run.
- Thirdly, Alex's heroics were recognized by the police, Air Force and the FBI, while Kevin's heroics went almost completely unnoticed, as he didn't need the credit and just wanted to see justice done.
- Also, Kevin needed to be saved by adults (Old Man Marley and the "Pigeon Lady") on two occasions, respectively. In Home Alone 3, Alex saves himself and an adult (Mrs. Hess).
- Alex also has one brother (Stan) and one sister (Molly), while Kevin has two brothers (Buzz and Jeff) and two sisters (Megan and Linnie).
- Alex attempted to phone the police about the burglars, and only took action when nobody would listen. Kevin did not attempt to contact law enforcement until he knew where he could lure the burglars (across the street). It is possible that he did this because he did not want to scare his family.
- Alex was home sick with chicken pox, while Kevin was accidentally separated while his family went on trips. Alex was also left at home (but only on a few occasions) for a few hours because his mother needed to go to work. Despite this, he was still being supervised by Mrs. Hess, so he was never truly "home alone", whereas Kevin really was home alone.
- Kevin's parents are of lower upper class, while Alex's parents are middle-class citizens.
- A few of Alex's traps seem to be more extreme than Kevin's.
- Despite these differences, however, they are also similar in a number of ways:
- Both live in Chicago.
- Both have trouble dealing with their families, but they all love each other at the end of the day.
- Both are whiz-kids that have a mischievous sense of humor.
- Both use booby-traps to foil the plans of their enemies.
- Besides Doris the rat, Alex also owns a goldfish named Speedy.