HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Song Without a Name
Incident in a Ghostland
Relic
Nobody
Now, At Last!
Tales from the Hood
Radio Parade of 1935
Dead
Death at Broadcasting House
Huracan
Ghost Strata
Call to Spy, A
Tailgate
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Topsy-Turvy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Two/One
Cognition
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
End of Summer
Times of Harvey Milk, The
Buddies
Threshold
   
 
Newest Articles
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
   
 
  Wind in the Willows, The Follow The Country Code
Year: 1996
Director: Terry Jones
Stars: Steve Coogan, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Antony Sher, Nicol Williamson, John Cleese, Stephen Fry, Bernard Hill, Michael Palin, Nigel Planer, Julia Sawalha, Victoria Wood, Robert Bathurst, Don Henderson, Richard James, Keith Lee-Castle, Hugo Blick
Genre: Musical, Comedy, Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Mole (Steve Coogan) is putting the finishing touches to his underground home, preparing to settle down for tea as the clock on the wall tells him it's about that time. Suddenly, the room begins to shake and he is sent fleeing from his abode, tunneling up to the surface to see that a great big earth-moving machine is bearing down on him, forcing him to get out the meadow as quickly as he can. He heads for the house of Ratty (Eric Idle), his friend who lives by the river, but has trouble making him realise the grave situation he has found himself in. Could this be the fault of Mr Toad (Terry Jones)?

In a way, the answer is yes, but if you recall Kenneth Grahame's book The Wind in the Willows from you childhood as a pastoral and quaint little tale, Jones' adaptation might seem quite alien to you. Here he adopts the more noise, more fury, more everything approach to bring the story up to the nineties, as if well aware of all the noisy and furious blockbusters that apparently he thought he was contending against. The result is a loose version which with sad inevitability felt it had to end on an explosion; the impression is that if Jones could have shoehorned in more things blowing up, then he gladly would have.

This was notable, on the other hand, as the final film to feature most of the surviving members of the Monty Python team: Terry Gilliam wasn't there, but the others were, with Michael Palin, by now tiring of acting, given a small role as the sun. Little notes like this point to a more charming film than the one we got, as the cast are very well chosen and could have easily satisfied in a far more conventional adaptation, but Jones rarely stops to allow us to catch our breath, not even to appreciate the odd witty line. He did give himself the best role, and is an enthusiastic Toad, but his over the top method means the characters are lost in the commotion.

Not to mention that the director seems unsure of what season it is supposed to be, as the story starts in the height of summer, then a few hours later it is the dead of winter, then the next day the leaves are back on the trees, all without explanation. Background such as that renders the foreground in confusion, although the essential plot remains similar to Grahame's, up until the introduction of the dog food factory which our heroes have to negotiate. There are signs that this was intended to be a musical, as every so often someone starts singing, but only for about thirty seconds or so, feeling like another opportunity missed.

Yet for all its drawbacks, the sheer energy and obvious affection for its subject, no matter how misguided the attempt at breathing new life into it, does mean that the pace never flags. In spite of surface appearances, there's a respect for the traditonal British way of life that emerges in the environmental themes, as the Weasels are ripping up the countryside, and the view of history as something that should be preserved, ecapsulated in Toad Hall, which the Weasels are also keen to destroy. So for a film that tries to be incredibly "now", its whiz-bang tone is somewhat at odds with the love of the culture it is drawn from; this means steam trains and vintage cars are pressed into service for hectic action sequences, the most obvious example of the split personality this suffers from. You could argue that the book is still there for anyone to read, but the very decent cast does point to a more faithful telling that might have been better. Music by John Du Prez.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4396 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: