But, in this new medium, we hardly get a chance to appreciate these details before they whiz by. Instead of oddball visual puns and charming dialogue, the film relies on slapstick and chase scenes to sustain our interest. There’s nothing essentially wrong with this – one of the chase scenes is really quite marvellous, with our heroes pursued by villains riding electric beaters – it’s just that we’ve seen this sort of stuff so many times before.
A brilliant script or exceptional voice performances might have rescued the film, but neither of these live up to their promise. The talented writers have dreamed up a great concept and some witty dialogue, but nothing that really stands out from a dozen similar scripts. On paper the cast looks extremely impressive, packed to the gills with A-list stars, but few of them do much more than an average job. Sir Ian McKellen camps it up to great effect as Toad and Jean Reno is fun as Le Frog, but the rest of the voices just don’t find the spark needed to bring their characters to life. This is probably more to do with poor direction than the commitment of the actors, but the end result is the same.
As much as we might miss the unique charm of Aardman’s old technique, this change in technology is not the root of the problem, just a symptom of a far more significant shift. Aardman are essentially tired of being constrained by the physical limits of clay models and real sets. They want to be able to tell stories with more ambitious scope – stories like Flushed Away - because that is where the real money is.
The tragedy is that their limited scope was a vital part of what made Aardman’s movies so special. Anyone with money can make a big, flashy, computer generated film, and at least six other studios are doing just that. But no-one else was making eccentric little treasures like Wallace and Gromit and, now that they have joined the big budget rat race, it’s possible that no-one else ever will. Let’s just hope they come to their senses.
- Alistair Fairweather
Had they made it 10 years ago, Flushed Away would have been utterly superb. Now it's merely another pleasant animated adventure, with a few flashes of brilliance.
Just another typical Tom Cruise action film, with nothing to get too excited about. The film is loaded with action-film stereotypes and cheesy one-liners. Read More »
Add your review
Hands of Stone is a bland, unlikable portrayal of a real-life boxer that struggles to hit the highs of Rocky IV let alone Raging Bull or the original Rocky. Mark this one down as “for boxing fanatics only”. Read More »
Add your review
South AfricaCity Press
Johannesburg CBDResourcing Solutions
HousesR 4 950 000
HousesR 3 300 000
HousesR 4 800 000