Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy would probably enjoy 'Mouse Hunt'.
The humour is designed to be something straight out of one of their
movies. The great slapstick duo of film's early years cannot be
compared to anyone so the comparison to them is only in the style of
comedy projected by this movie.
Two brothers (Nathan Lane and Lee Evans) have inherited two things
upon the death of their father (William Hickey). The first is a string
factory falling on hard times and the second is a creaky and neglected
mansion built in 1876. At first thought, it appears that the house is
worthless but upon further examination of some blueprints they discover,
it occurs to them that the year 1876 was the American centennial and
they also discover that the house was built by a world renowned
architect admired by the wealthy. One man offers the brothers a
substantial amount for the dwelling and tells them that he has over 40
other houses designed by the same architect. They decline his offer
because they feel they can get more by auctioning it off.
Embarking on a much needed renovation, the brothers find there is a
slight problem which may lower the property value of their house; a
mouse! They feel that the problem could be more than one mouse but it
turns out from the audience's look at the film that there is indeed only
one mouse who feels the two brothers are the invaders and not him. The
mouse is extremely clever as he avoids traps and leads the brothers into
creating more destruction for themselves in their attempt to catch him.
The mouse steals an entire block of round cheese by rolling it like a
wheel. He has the brothers fall victim to their multiple mouse traps
and he even outsmarts an expert exterminator (Christopher Walken) in a
key role approaching it like he was a bounty hunter.
'Mouse Hunt' is a good family film addressing the necessary comic
turns comparable to the dark punch of a boxing glove and Lee Evans is
hilarious as the better of the two brothers named Smuntz. Sounds like a
name perfect for comedy. The interesting thing about the movie is that
the scenes with the rodent rascal are done three ways. With a real
mouse, a mechanical one and a computer enhanced one for those scenes
that look cartoonish and that is much of the films content. Much of the
humour is dark but also very cute with special appeal to children and
while it is a cross between a road runner cartoon and a Laurel and Hardy
slapstick feature, it still is worth a look.
Copyright © 1997 Walter Frith