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Overall Rating
3.83

Awesome: 9.38%
Worth A Look71.88%
Average: 12.5%
Pretty Bad: 4.69%
Total Crap: 1.56%

7 reviews, 22 user ratings


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Flushed Away
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by Erik Childress

"Much More A Caper Than A Rat Turd"
4 stars

If there’s any truth to the rumor that Aardman Studios is severing relations with Dreamworks, I can think of a number of struggling animated divisions that should immediately begin the bidding for their services. Maybe not as fiscally a no-brainer as investing in Pixar, but it would be a shame to see the folks over there sitting on the bench when they could be producing works such as Chicken Run and their countless Wallace & Gromit classics. Even with switching to the modern world of 3-D animation with Flushed Away, fans of their claymation wonders will cease to be disappointed as where the new film may lack in plotting it makes up by being one of the most consistently inventive bits of eye candy these retinas have seen in some time.

It all begins “up top” in a lovely house in Kensington where pet rat, Roddy St. James (voiced by Hugh Jackman) lives the good life. And when the family’s away, the rat shall play, utilizing all manners of dolls and inanimate objects to create an evening of volleyball and movie premieres. His peace is interrupted soon after though by Sid (Shane Richie), an uncouth sewer rat who treats Roddy as if he were his personal servant. After Roddy introduces him to the toilet “Jacuzzi”, Sid gets the drop on him and flushes him down the drain where amidst the filthy water and serenading slugs, a flourishing utopia has been created by its inhabitants.

Down below in hopes of getting back home he meets Rita (Kate Winslet, in the kind of role I’d love to see her play in the flesh), a scrappy steamboat captain out to keep a priceless ruby out of the hands of this civilization’s Jabba the Hutt, known perceptibly as the Toad (Ian McKellen, fantastically boisterous), who wants it for his own collection. Rita and Roddy form an African Queen-like pact to help each other out and are relentlessly pursued by toadies, Spike (Andy Serkis) and Whitey (Bill Nighy) before reinforcements are called in in the form of Le Frog (Jean Reno), a Frenchy “cleaner” out to help the cousin he thumbs his nose, legs and tongue at.

Even describing the plot to you, I’m not that interested in it as it takes multiple twists to kickstart new acts. Besides, who could possibly pay attention to another lesson about choosing solitude over friends and family when you’d rather be reading every small print label to see what’s making up the components of that steamboat’s innovations? And the images are crisp and colorful enough to sparkle our eyes over with a new shade. I haven’t had so much fun just LOOKING at a film since the original Toy Story.

The imagery keeps us on board especially early as the film takes a little while to warm up to, but once you get past the cultural manners and first pop song on the soundtrack, Flushed Away settles into the type of humor that the Brits excel at. Their best punchlines coming not from long sitcom-like setups but quick throwaways that are well beyond the sophistication of the youths in the audience. Painting the extreme French portrait in the form of a Frog gives Jean Reno such reign to flaunt his character’s snootiness that he practically steals the movie in his too-brief appearance and you have to love the “battle position” of his minions. Even the musical slugs who interrupt the story more than once to chorus the proceedings Greek-style get huge laughs, proving to be more like the endearing mice from Babe than an unwelcome shrill for the kiddies.

At barely 75 minutes before the end credits/screensaver-in-waiting begins to roll, Flushed Away is a true joy. The action moments are pleasantly staged and its one-liners arrive like a mallet before there’s any danger of heading into monotony. As always, it’s the writing that’s the key to making an animated film standout amidst the pack of rush jobs these days. Even if Aardman’s characters don’t have the hands-on thumbprint approach to its movement, their imprint is all over Flushed Away and while the star-laden voicework isn’t going away anytime soon, I’ll be fine with it as long as the results are as pleasurable as this and not as lazy as Madagascar, Shark Tale or even Cars. With some 15 animated films being released in 2006, we are well beyond the time when such was a rare and priceless commodity. It’s time to start thinning the herd again and whomever bankrolls Aardman studios in the future will have the gratification of being on the shortlist.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=15271&reviewer=198
originally posted: 11/03/06 16:22:17
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User Comments

9/11/12 marta gilson Enjoyed it 4 stars
11/26/08 Shaun Wallner Hilarious Movie! 5 stars
11/08/08 Tiffany Losco Good, kids liked it. 4 stars
5/16/08 PAUL SHORTT A WITTY COMBINATION OF JOKES FOR BOTH ADULTS AND KIDS 3 stars
9/14/07 Tracy My kids loved this. 5 stars
8/13/07 Louise GREAT FUN! and SOOO British!!! 5 stars
7/19/07 zenbo very meh 3 stars
7/09/07 Alexis Balmaceda I think " Flushed Away " was histarical and I loved the characters. 5 stars
6/22/07 Charles Tatum Very funny and very clever 4 stars
6/14/07 ric did not like kates character. Storys avarage. 2 stars
2/25/07 amys nana thought it was good fun just long enough for our 7 year old grand daughter who enjoyed it 4 stars
2/05/07 William Goss Pretty brisk, pretty clever, and pretty fun. 4 stars
2/04/07 Mike Nothin great, kinda boring, VERY average. 2 stars
1/01/07 Sarah Loved it. Very english humour suits me fine, not everyone though. 4 stars
12/25/06 paul anka It's a piece of crap 1 stars
12/14/06 ES Meh animation and nothing there, kind of annoying to watch. Not even worth seeing for free 2 stars
12/04/06 love this eeeeeeeeeee! just love them, they made the film. 5 stars
11/26/06 MP Bartley It's no Wallace and Gromit, but it's by far and away the kids film of the year. 4 stars
11/20/06 Pokejedservo Enjoyable though a bit flawed, not as good as the W&G films but does have that charm. 4 stars
11/15/06 Debbie Very cute. The kids love it! 5 stars
11/13/06 Tiffany Losco Cute movie, funny, still wondering about the screaming little slug things. 4 stars
11/11/06 DIANA I actually liked this movie... 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  03-Nov-2006 (PG)
  DVD: 20-Feb-2007

UK
  01-Dec-2006

Australia
  21-Dec-2006


Directed by
  Sam Fell
  David Bowers

Written by
  Dick Clement
  Ian LaFrenais

Cast
  Hugh Jackman
  Kate Winslet
  Ian McKellen
  Andy Serkis
  Bill Nighy
  Jean Reno



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