Friday, October 07, 2005

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit - Movie Review

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit 2005

For those of you who have no bloody idea who Wallace & Gromit are, well clearly you don’t get out much. They spring from the fertile mind of Oscar winning animator, Nick Park. In a series of short films beginning with 1989s “Wallace & Gromit: A Grand Day Out”, lucky filmgoers were introduced to a balding, middle aged amateur inventor and his mute but brilliant dog. Wallace’s love of cheese was only exceeded by his social ineptitude. Gromit was the responsible one of the pair, who routinely saved his dimwitted master from doom by maneuvering thru hair-raising chases worthy of Harold Lloyd or the Keystone Cops at their finest. What really made the short films shine was the intricate plots, deadpan humor and cinematic direction. These were not just kiddies films. We are going to go so far as to say that the brilliant Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers” is perhaps the best Hitchcock tribute since the maestro himself. There. We said it. Now, go rent them!!!

The latest work from Nick Park and company, is “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit”, and it’s a gem. Our stalwart heroes are now employed as pest control in their quiet British burg, finding themselves beset upon by a series of midnight raids on the townships pride and joy: their vegetable gardens. It seems that the local gentry are gearing up for the annual Giant Vegetable Competition, hosted by the Lady Campanula Tottington. Lady T, is a wonderful creation, voiced by the talented Helena Bonham Carter. Her suitor, the dastardly villain of the piece is Victor Quartermaine, and he is brilliantly brought to life by Ralph Fiennes in a voiceover performance that years ago would have belonged justly to John Cleese – but here, Mr. Fiennes pulls out all the stops to help shape a hilariously pompous twit. We didn’t know that Ralph had it in him! Lady Tottington calls upon the services of “Anti-Pesto”, run by W & G to help rid her garden of a multitude of rabbits. Using his latest invention, a sort of giant pump that airvacs the little critters safely into captivity, Wallace wins the heart of Lady T, much to the chagrin of her suitor, Victor. As the rabbits seem to keep multiplying, Wallace takes it upon himself to think up a plan to change their eating habits. What happens next . . . well, honestly, it’s really all part of the wonderful plot so we won’t spoil it for you. Suffice to say, it involves mind-control, Lycanthropy, angry mobs, and the aforementioned intricately plotted chase scenes that are joyous to behold.

So, do yourselves a favor and plop down the coinage to enjoy the latest Wallace & Gromit. You’ll be glad we sent you! Bless you all!

Note: Being the seasoned theatergoers that we are, we carefully chose our theatre to be almost free of children. Yes, we know that this movie might be viewed as a “kid’s movie”. But honestly, who wants to go see a movie in an auditorium filled with children? So, choose your viewing time wisely!

Directed by Nick Park & Steve Box
Written by Bob Baker, Steve Box, Mark Burton & Nick Park

Peter Sallis as Wallace
Helena Bonham Carter as Lady Campanula Tottington
Ralph Fiennes as Victor Quartermaine

Cinematography by Tristan Oliver and Dave Alex Riddett
Film Editing by David McCormick and Gregory Perler
Production Design by Phil Lewis