Newest Reviews
Gretel and Hansel
Tunnel, The
India Song
Last Rhino, The
Made in Hong Kong
Ring of Spies
Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad
Pocketful of Miracles
The Tomb: Devil's Revenge
Sidecar Racers
Space Dogs
Safety Last!
Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The
Show Boat
City Called Dragon, A
I Used to Go Here
Six Suspects
Still the Water
Not Now, Comrade
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Wives of the Skies
Two Heads Creek
Next Stop, Greenwich Village
Captain, The
Great Wall, A
Trout, The
Zorba the Greek
Horror Crowd, The
Matthias & Maxime
Bullet for the President, A
Constant Husband, The
Man in Grey, The
Way to the Stars, The
Man Who Skied Down Everest, The
Bottoms Up!
Newest Articles
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
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
  Mousehunt String Theory Vs Chaos Theory
Year: 1997
Director: Gore Verbinski
Stars: Nathan Lane, Lee Evans, Vicki Lewis, Maury Chaykin, Eric Christmas, Michael Jeter, Debra Christofferson, Camilla Søeberg, Ian Abercrombie, Annabelle Gurwitch, Eric Poppick, Ernie Sabella, William Hickey, Christopher Walken, Cliff Emmich, Melanie MacQueen
Genre: Comedy, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Old Man Smuntz (William Hickey) has his funeral today, and his sons are so inept that they drop the coffin when acting as pallbearers, sending the corpse flying out and down a manhole, whereupon it is washed away with the rainwater towards the sea. Not the best way to start looking after the family business, and indeed Ernie Smuntz (Nathan Lane) has no intention of carrying out his father's wishes, though his sibling Lars (Lee Evans) does. Ernie wants to sell the string factory, but is prevented from doing so - how about the valuable family home, then?

If you ever watched Tom and Jerry cartoons and thought the mouse was the villain rather than the cat trying to rid the world of this vermin, then here was the movie for you, a live action version of those cartoons created with all the special effects skill the era could conjure up. In that way it was similar to the mega-hit Home Alone, but while that success was more vile sadism packaged for family audiences, here director Gore Verbinski and writer Adam Rifkin recognised that the way to make this palatable was to approach it as if it were a horror movie, with the tiny rodent replacing the accustomed monster.

You had the old dark house, the hapless victims, the sense of morality, and of course the violence, though as with the John Hughes Christmas box office bonanza rendering this in live action robbed a lot of cartoon slapstick of its humour, and while Mousehunt was funnier than that movie, it wasn't exactly a laugh riot because you didn't quite sympathise with the characters enough to care deeply about their injuries, but then again you didn't quite feel they deserved the indignities heaped upon them when life seemed to be so determined to persuade them to give up on any dream they might have had of making something of themselves.

Ernie is forced back into the string business when his job as a prestigious chef ends after the mayor dies on biting into a large cockroach hidden in his meal, not Ernie's fault but an early indication of how he is going to be punished for his arrogance and Lars is going to be punished for his naivety. It's a very dark world they inhabit, both in terms of what occurs and how it looks, with the art direction emphasising an appearance that could just as well double for some creepy old chiller from anywhere between the nineteen-forties and the nineties, deliberately vague to add a sense of much needed unreality - after all, if this were truly convincing, it's curious that it would be too depressing to contemplate.

Once Ernie and Lars find out the old mansion house is a valuable relic, they set about establishing an auction for it where they believe they could make millions. Just one problem remains: a mouse, which they decide to get rid of because no one wants one of those infesting their property, but as you can imagine for these bumblers (the spirit of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy is invoked) that is easier said than done. Rifkin's script was inventive where it counted: the setpieces, which included such spectacles as a room full of mousetraps being set off simultaneously, a mishap with an out of control bathtub, and most notably exterminator Christopher Walken (who eats mouseshit in more ways than one) sent smashing through the house by the antagonist's scheming. This is one smart, small, furry mammal, and only gets smarter the further the story progresses so that the happy ending comes as a genuine surprise: they probably deserved a break after all that. Music by Alan Silvestri (one of his best scores).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 1824 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film


Gore Verbinski  (1964 - )

Born Gregor Verbinski, this visually inventive director got his start in advertising before making his feature debut in 1997 with the anarchic comedy Mousehunt. He helmed the critically-maligned thriller The Mexican and hit horror remake The Ring, while swashbuckling epic Pirates of the Caribbean, with Johnny Depp, spawned a multi-million dollar franchise. He left that after the third instalment to make his first animation, the comedy Western Rango which he followed with a live action one, mega-flop The Lone Ranger, then another flop, the horror remake A Cure for Wellness. Verbinski was also creator of Budweiser's frog TV ad campaign.

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

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
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg


Last Updated: