Rat Movie Review

Franz Kafka meets Stuart Little in Rat, a presumably witty and clever Irish import that aims a little too high to be kid-friendly and far too low to be of interest to many grown-ups.

Pete Postlethwaite stars as Guinness-swilling Everyman Hubert, who, for no apparent reason, suddenly turns into a large white rat (he was a white man, they say, so it would be ridiculous for him to turn into a black rat!). That's not the point of the film, though -- the point is that no one seems to care very much about Hubert's predicament, staging a series of mundane problems around Hubert's dilemma. The local reporter wants to write a book about Hubert. Hubert gets tossed into a washing machine. Hubert bites his wife's finger. By the time Hubert suddenly turns back into a man again, we've utterly forgotten why we should care about him in the first place.

Naturally, Rat is played as an all-out farce, though why it isn't a lot more mature remains a mystery. Its one-note joke grows stale awfully quickly, begging us to dote over how cute Hubert is when in reality he is an enormous, ugly, and fat... rat. Even music co-scored by Bob Geldof is used so sparingly it can't make us forget that this vermin needs a strong dose of strychnine.

Rat bastard.


Rat Rating

" Grim "

Rating: PG, 2000


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