Thursday, November 16, 2006
**** Flushed Away. Animated comedy.
Directed by: David Bowers & Sam Fell
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Jean Reno
We just got back from seeing this at Sembach. It's a good theater for going to when you're expecting crowds, which is a given at a kids movie on a military base. Big theater, and the seats are in plenty of sections, so it's possible to sit somewhere without that guy with the big head sitting in front of you.
I must admit, after Barnyard, I was a bit leery about seeing another animated movie. I shouldn't have been. Even though Flushed Away was really short (IMDB says it's 90 minutes, but that must be including previews, because it started just after 7--after the national anthem and the theater ad--and was over at 8:10), it was funny and entertaining, and I never got bored or irritated with it. Even the teenager laughed, and he's a hard sell.
Roddy (Hugh Jackman) is a pet rat with a posh life--a gilded cage, and when the humans are away, he can do as he pleases, with the dolls from the dollhouse for companionship. Then one day, the house is invaded by a sewer rat named Sid, and when Roddy tries to lure him into the "jacuzzi," Roddy's the one who gets flushed instead.
He ends up in and underground rat city that's busy and full of cute details I wouldn't mind checking out on DVD because there was no way I could catch all of them--things like a teacup ride made from actual teacups, what looked like Lego flowers, and hand-mixer jet skis. It reminded me very much of the Borrowers or the Littles books from when I was a kid.
All Roddy wants is to get home, and in his quest, he gets help from Rita (Kate Winslet)--as long as he promises to pay her, that is--and runs afoul of The Toad. The various characters are a hoot--from the singing slugs to the French ninja frogs, led by LeFrog (Jean Reno), who not only fight, but bring along their own mime.
Roddy's character arc is predictable, but at least he has one, and he and Rita have interesting and distinct personalities.
One thing we all found amusing was that the rats were all into the World Cup, and especially the reaction of the American rat--after living through World Cup fever here in Germany this summer.
It's not The World's Greatest Animated Comedy, but it's well worth 70 (or 90 if you believe the IMDB) minutes of your time, and the cost of a matinee ticket.
Categories: Movies, 4stars, Comedy
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