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Stuart Little II

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Stuart Little II

Starring: Michael J. Fox, Geena Davis
Director: Rob Minkoff
Rated: PG
RunTime: 100 Minutes
Release Date: July 2002
Genres: Comedy, Kids

Review by Steve Rhodes
3 stars out of 4

Heeeeee's back. Stuart Little, everybody's favorite white rodent, returns in STUART LITTLE 2, a darling sequel that manages to outcharm the original. The starring cast is back with Michael J. Fox voicing Stuart, Geena Davis and Hugh Laurie playing his adoptive parents, Jonathan Lipnicki playing his adoptive brother, Nathan Lane voicing the Little's sassy white fur ball named Snowbell and Steve Zahn voicing the street-smart alley cat named Monty. Adding extra sizzle this time, Melanie Griffith voices Stuart's first love interest, a yellow bird named Margalo, and James Woods is menacingly funny voicing a predator known only as the falcon.

Thanks to a production budget that exceeds either STAR WARS: EPISODE II or MINORITY REPORT -- I am not making this up -- the look is stunning but never overwhelming. As you watch Stuart soar joyously through Central Park in a toy airplane or marvel at the colorful beauty of Margalo's feathers, you will see that this was money well spent.

I don't know how much writer Bruce Joel Rubin got for the script, but it was probably a bargain. The dialog is packed with little comedic gems. I do wonder if there might have been some bribery going on since Nathan Lane manages to snag the best lines. "Look what I'm reduced to," Snowbell says after being asked to cleanup the baby's spilt oatmeal by making it his breakfast. "I'm Handiwipes without hands." Even some of the minor characters get some simple but funny lines. When the coach finally dares to send little Stuart into a human soccer game, he warns him to "watch your tail."

The movie is continuously cute without ever being saccharine and with several good-sized laughs. It's the type of film to which you can take the grandkids or the grandparents and never worry about anyone being bored. The audience is a sea of constant smiles and frequent laughter.

All of the above notwithstanding, there are some thrills and some duplicitous characters in STUART LITTLE 2. The chases are classic cinema and well acted. And after rescuing Margalo from the clutches of the evil falcon, Stuart finds that she may not be quite what she seems.

There are plenty of good messages sprinkled about. Two of the best are: "If more people gave up, there'd be fewer wars," and "You're as big as you feel." STUART LITTLE 2 is an exhilarating comedy for all ages.

STUART LITTLE 2 runs a fast 1:18. It is rated PG for "brief mild language" and would be acceptable for all ages.

My son Jeffrey, age 13, gave it ***. He didn't think that the original needed a sequel, but he found this one quite good. He commented on how cool the special effects were while still seeming natural. His cousin William, age 8, really liked it, especially the last airplane sequence. William's sister Liana, age 5, liked it too, and her favorite part occurred when Stuart got stuck on a garbage barge.

Copyright 2002 Steve Rhodes

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