Saturday, November 25, 2006

FLUSHED AWAY - a very British comedy

For some strange reason, FLUSHED AWAY did terrible business in the US - at least relative to the huge budget. I say strange because Swedish Philip and I went to see it today and it was absolutely hysterical. I mean, laugh out loud funny throughout. I haven't had such a good time watching a comedy in ages, and it beats alleged adult fare like TENACIOUS D, and TALLADEGA NIGHTS hands down. That the movie is seriously funny comes as no surprise when you realise that, despite being CGI animated, it comes from the people who brought you WALLACE AND GROMIT: CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT. So you get the characteristic physical comedy, classic movie references and proper old-fashioned plotting and characterisation. The visual comedy is so rich that I suspect you’d have to watch FLUSHED AWAY a number of times before you’d even begun to recognise it all.

However, it has to be said that the movie has a peculiarly English feel, which may explain its comparative failure in the US. (The root cause of the English-ness is easy to identify - the movie was co-written by Dick Clement and Ian LeFrenais – veteran script-writers for classic British TV comedies, The Likely Lads and Porridge.) The iconography of Zone One London is used to full effect – it’s all Piccadilly Circus & London Bridge. The fish-out-of-water plot plays off Cor Blimey Guv’nor sewer rats with a pampered pet mouse from The Royal Borough of Kensington. The movie features the regulation Knight of the Realm (Sir Ian McKellan) camping it up luvvie-stylee. A good dollop of the jokes are made at the expense of the cheese-eating surrender-monkey French; vulgar American tourists; grannies who throw their knickers at Tom Jones and the English football team.

In short, if you think football is a game played with twenty-two men and a round ball in which England lose on penalties to Germany in the final, I can almost guarantee you’ll have a good time watching FLUSHED AWAY. What's more this movie has everything that a certain Bond film lacked: exhilerating chases; a smooth hero in a dinner jacket; wicked gadgets; cheesy pick-up lines; an evil megalomaniac threatening humanity; and a ticking clock counting down to devestation before the hero saves the day!

FLUSHED AWAY has already opened in Israel, Singapore, the US, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. It opens in Hong Kong, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Spain, Sweden and the UK next weekend. It opens in Germany, Bulgaria, Estonia and Norway on December 8th, in Brazil, Mexico and Turkey on the 15th, in Australia, Slovenia, Italy and Latvia on the 22nd. It opens in Argentina in January and in Japan in March.

1 comment:

  1. *In a terrible American accent* That sounds more like soccer than football lmao