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Flushed AwayMovie Review
by Georgette Tan
Genre: Animation / Family
Director: Sam Fell, David Bowers
Voice Cast: Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Bill Nighy, Shane Richie, Geoffrey Palmer, Simon Callow, Jean Reno.
Roddy St. James (Hugh Jackman) the rat is a pampered house pet residing somewhere in Kensington. After getting accidentally getting flushed down the toilet, he finds himself in an underground rodent-sized version of London.
The only one capable of sending him back home "Up There" is Rita (Kate Winslet), the intrepid scavenger and captain of the Jammy Dodger. Rita is on the run from local crime boss The Toad (Ian McKellen) and his henchmen, Spike (Andy Serkis) and Whitey (Bill Nighy).
Inevitably, the two decide to work together and escape. Left with no choice, The Toad calls upon the services of the feared and mysterious operative - Le Frog (Jean Reno), who sets off the track the duo down as they journey to get to Kensington. Apparently, The Toad has something diabolical planned for halftime of the World Cup.
There is no doubt that the plot will seem familiar to anyone who's seen enough family movies - two completely different individuals meet, find a common ground or objective, and fall in love while evading an enemy. In between that, there are other characters whose function is to create some comedy relief. Before the credits roll, some moral lesson will be imparted to impressionable minds in the theatre.
I was looking for something quick and easy to review this week, and was not expecting "Flushed Away" to be any form of genius. It isn't, but it isn't completely hopeless either. While Hugh Jackman is entirely forgettable in his role as the lost Roddy, the amphibians and invertebrates steal the show.
Nighy, in a more sedated role, appears as simple albino rat Whitey, whose fur didn't survive his stint as a lab rat. Serkis was easy to pick out as the small, hyperactive Spike. Le Frog's ninja frogmen were funny, and those slugs that seem to be everywhere provided musical accompaniment. If you pay attention, you'll see another one of Aardman's creations making a quick cameo.
In summary, "Flushed Away" will feel like something you've seen before. It isn't exactly ground breaking territory where plot is concerned, but perhaps the pseudo clay-mation will still lend an air of novelty.
According to IMDB movie trivia, "Flushed Away" uses a software that reproduces "imperfections" (i.e. dropped frames, thumbprints) found in real clay-mation. So perhaps the sanctity of clay-mation is gone, but at least the producers are justified in making this decision - the movie involved a lot of water, which is impossible to control outside CGI.
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