- Rated - SIMMERING
This is not a kid's film. Well, it is and it isn't. At the session we
went to, the kids were laughing at the slapstick, and so were we. But
were roaring with laughter at the dialogue! Mums were turning round to
see who was having so much fun!
Anyone who loves the work of Chuck Jones and Tex Avery MUST see this
film. It is really a homage to the work of the great cartoonists, with
unbelievable sight gags that owe a great debt to Tex Avery's
anatomically-impossible cartooning, and clever, wise-cracking dialogue
worthy of Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny.
The script is peppered with lines movie-lovers will adore. Sample:
Nathan Lane arrives at the old run-down mansion he's inherited with his
brother and intones, à la Bette Davis: "What a dump!". There are
at least 4 other movie in-jokes I counted, including a fabulous An
Affair to Remember joke, a twist on an Arnold Schwarzenegger line, and
a few other memorable quotes. And there's Christopher Waken to boot!
Lee Evans plays Nathan Lane's brother, and he is not made the most of.
Evans is a very talented English comedian who starred in Funny Bones, a
wonderful little movie from 1996. He is a terrific physical comedian,
but he rarely gets the chance in this movie to show us what he can do.
Basically he plays second fiddle to Nathan Lane, which is a bit of a
shame. But he has a couple of great scenes of his own, and I hope he
gets the chance to show us more in his next movie.
And the mouse! What a star. Speilberg's Dreamworks organisation has
avoided anthropomorphising the mouse. The mouse is just a mouse: it
does not have facial expression, it does not talk, it is not especially
cute (except in one scene when it gets into its little bed). It is
brilliantly produced by animatronics, and it is hilarious. The poor cat
is not nearly as realistic, but it is still hilarious.
So grab a kid (if you must) and see this film. But beware: there is one
scene where the mouse gets knocked unconscious, and a little child near
us burst into tears. Don't worry - all turns out right in the end, and
you'll all leave with smiles on your faces.