DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Film Review: Flushed Away

'in the UK it opens 01 Dec...'

Flushed Away (U)
David Bowers & Sam Fell

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Dreamworks have taken Aardman’s Plasticine (Not to be confused with the
Pleistocene epoch which is part of the geologic timescale) / claymation look and worked it over with their supercomputers… The result is Flushed Away - a frenetic animated adventure populated by rats, slugs and frogs who look like they are made of modelling material (you know…calcium salts, petroleum jelly and aliphatic acids) but who sound like Kate Winslet, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Bill Nighy etc etc…

Wallace & Gromit may have left the building but Roddy and Rita the rats (Hugh Jackman and Kate Winslet) are suitable alternative heroes. Prepare to marvel as they spread disease and plague across the human world, gasp as they rabidly rip the throats out of their enemies and cheer when they are finally rounded up and exterminated for being public health time bombs… Erm, not really…
No no, not these rats, these are lovely cuddly pop culture-referencing rats who spout dialogue from the writers of Shrek or Shark Tale. They use the toilet as a whirlpool portal between the parallel Londons of our human ‘up top’ world and the corr blimey governor sewer where all the common rats abide…

Flushed Away does a lot of things right, it cracks along at a breakneck pace, packs in loads of references for kids and adults alike and is funny enough to make you really lose it more than once. The animation is great – stylized to ape the Aardman of old but hugely detailed, the voice acting is top notch and the plot is erm, OK let’s not talk about the plot as it’s perfunctory at best.Toffee nosed rat Roddy gets left alone while his owners go on holiday, his idyllic but lonely life is wrecked when fat rat Sid (Shane Richie) moves in and ends up flushing Roddy down the loo.
Here he crosses paths with amphibious villain Toad (Ian McKellen) backed up by dodgy henchmen (Nighy and Serkis) and a team of dastardly French frogs… The frogs made me laugh a lot with their incompetence, cowardice and multiple coffee breaks, not sure how that will play in France!?
Roddy is poorly equipped to be a hero, completely unprepared for the rough and tumble of life in the sewer. His tail is saved by plucky love interest rat Rita (Winslet) and only together can they save the sewer from being… you guessed it… Flushed Away…

Highlights include a funky chorus of singing slugs, sharp dialogue like when Toad asks: “You find my pain funny?” and Le Frog replies: “I find everyone's pain funny but my own. I'm French.”
My two boys loved it long time and pronounced it better than Wallace and Gromit – they are 5 and 9 in case you were wondering. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would and would put this in my top six animated films of 2006 to date which goes like this (click for my review):

1. Hoodwinked
2. Cars
3. Over The Hedge
4. Flushed Away – don’t click this you’re already reading it…
5. Renaissance
6. Ice Age 2: The Meltdown

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):

Action ööö - fun animated capers
Laughs öööö – lots, yes very funny stuff
Horror ö – mild suspence
Babes öö – winslet sounds a bit cute?

Overall öööö (more cheese Grommit? – no damnit those rats have eaten it!)


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1 comment:

rach said...

Ooh looks good. The problem is, I've not seen Hoodwinked yet either - which do I watch first?