Newest Review: ... of the film. This small thing, or things, came in the shape of slugs. These slugs were not in the main running of the storyline, though ap... more
Is That a Jacuzzi in Your Toilet?
Flushed Away (DVD)
Member Name: sy2kgbr
Flushed Away (DVD)
Advantages: Adults will find it funny.
Disadvantages: Shouldn't children find it funnier?
A couple of Saturdays ago, two engineer friends of mine persuaded me to see Flushed Away with them. Although clearly promoted as a children's movie, this didn't stop us from going without any kids in tow! The film was only released on the first of December, so it is pretty recent, and when we went to see it, the screen was packed with very young children, armed with buckets of popcorn. At first we were a bit concerned that the kids were going to spoil the film for us, but I have to admit we probably made more noise than them!
Roddy St. James (Hugh Jackman) is a posh rodent living in Kensington in his own beautifully guilded cage. He has all the food a rat could want, his own car (well, a toy car) and plenty of friends (if you count toy dolls as playmates). One day his comfortable existence is interrupted by an unexpected visitor, and he finds himself flushed away down his very own toilet. Not a very dignified way to travel if you're as well bred as he is.
Stuck in an underground parody of London, Roddy attempts to find his way back up to the surface. Having never visited the sewers of London before, he is forced to seek help from the feisty Rita Malone (Kate Winslet) and finds himself tangled up in her very complicated life. After nearly getting them both killed through sheer incompetence, Roddy finally persuades Rita to help him get back to his home up top in return for some expensive jewels that will help keep her very large family in luxury.
The main characters have all been voiced by people you've heard of - Roddy St. James is voiced by Hugh Jackman, Rita Malone by Kate Winslet, The Toad by Ian McKellan and Le Frog by Jean Reno. Bill Nighy and Andy Serkis star as bad guys Whitey and Spike, and if you can't quite place the name Andy Serkis, he's the actor who played Gollum in Lord of the Rings. Shane Richie formerly from Eastenders makes a few short but funny appearances as decidedly blokey boy rat Sid, and Kathy Burke and David Suchet feature as Rita's parents. Definitely an expensive sounding line up. One of my favourite castings is Bill Nighy as Whitey, whose delivery is very funny indeed.
AND THE PRIZE FOR BEST PERFORMANCE GOES TO...
...The sewer slugs. If you haven't seen the film, you might wonder why I've picked a couple of extras over Hugh Jackman or Jean Reno, but the slugs kept us laughing non-stop. This in itself was slightly embarassing, as we were practically the only adults watching the film and the children weren't laughing nearly as loud as us, but the slugs do deserve some praise. To be honest, I'm not sure how the makers of Flushed Away got away with introducing these characters, as they appear to be an exact copy of the orange blobby things that promote BBC Three, just in different (more slug like) colours. They are however genius.
At the start of the film, the introduction of the slugs is a genuine plot device, but then the script writers appear to give up on sense and stick a slug in at every possible moment. Just when you're least expecting them, the slugs wander into shot, floating through the air clinging to balloons or sitting on top of a boat, singing classics such as "Don't Worry, Be Happy".
FOR THE ADULTS
The slugs are undoubtedly one of the funniest things about this film and kept us laughing even when the younger viewers weren't particularly amused. Slugs aside, you'll get a big kick out of the hidden references to Finding Nemo, Lady and the Tramp, Mary Poppins, I Know What You Did Last Summer and the X-Men, to name but a few. The film is rich with cultural details that provoke laughter from the adults. Some are less obvious (e.g. X-Men) but others are hard to miss (e.g. the Finding Nemo reference).
FOR THE CHILDREN
The film references are often too subtle or just not recent enough for the younger viewers to really get. That said, there's lots more to keep their interest. For the children who like adventure and sport, the film is packed full of action with high speed boat chases, and one of the bigger storylines revolves around the World Cup. For the children who believe in happy endings, there's a blossoming relationship between two of the lead characters.
And did I mention it's a film about rats? Get in.
If your family has a mixture of ages in it and you're always struggling to find something that will appeal to everyone, it might be worth taking the family to see Flushed Away, as it does have something for everyone. It's a good film, worth seeing, but I don't think it's going to turn out to be one of the classic CGI movies. Good Christmas compromise for the family though!
Summary: Family flick. Not a classic, but worth seeing anyway.