1997; Rated PG; 93 Minutes
Marcia Gay Harden
Produced by John
Hughes and Ricardo Mestres; Directed By Les Mayfield;
Screenwritten by John Hughes and Bill Walsh
by DAVID KEYES
is a movie that is so foolish and dimwitted that audiences
would like nothing more than to see its stars put to sleep.
It's an incompetent reflection of how the genre of remakes
has faded over the years, and not only does it seem to prove
that an actor like Robin Williams can lose all of his taste,
but it also demonstrates that the people who went and saw
it have lost their taste.
Williams fills the role of "The Absent-Minded Professor":
a person who has just discovered one of the greatest things
of the century. He needs to pay off some sort of loan that
he had pending on the college that he worked at, and in
order to meet the deadline, he had to think up some sort
of widely-popular invention. When he thinks he has failed
at doing so, he turns to leave his experiment, and hears
a funny noise coming from the container it is concealed
in. He opens it up to find a green glob of glue, which is
not only alive, but has abilities no normal object has ever
had. Naming it "Flubber," Williams' character begins using
it on everything he can think of.
first, he puts it in the transmitter of his car, making
it fly, and at another point, smears is all over a bowling
ball and a golf ball, which get set off outside his house
and continue to bounce into the air and back down through
the entire movie. But the only times we see them hitting
the ground is when two spies are present, and they constantly
get hit by them. This ongoing series of scenes is reminiscent
of "Home Alone."
whole movie relies on these scenes to keep the villains
of the picture noticeable. Without them getting hit, we
would lose total interest in them. However, in the process,
we all lose interest in Williams and his little creation.
Williams thinks he has perfected his invention, he uses
it on the shoes of the basketball team, because they have
not won one game in the entire season, nor have they made
all looks fine and dandy, Williams and his bride-to-be (who
he had previously left standing at the altar three times)
offer to sell the flying car to a nearby business man, so
the money can go to saving the college.
the villain, naturally, figures out Williams' cockamamie
plan and steals away the Flubber, forcing Williams to capture
it back in the last few scenes of the feature, like a hero
in a standard Disney picture.
seems that Williams has lost every ounce of intelligence
here. Maybe, before choosing to star in it, he should have
realized that the original "Absent-Minded Professor" has
an absent-minded script. And maybe he should have realized
that he has been in so many bad pictures recently that his
audience is sick of it.
other characters of the film seem like uninspired spin-offs
of those in the original film, but this new "Flubber" thing
makes the picture all the worse. I guess the Flubber is
supposed to be the hero, but in fact, it doesn't do anything
heroic, except stick to objects which help other characters
jump higher, dribble balls faster, and make cars fly. There's
absolutely no interest in this thing whatsoever: not even
when it escapes the little crucible and dances to a show
tune on a coffee table, with fake palm trees and several
hundred smaller spawns of the substance.
worse, this professor's inventions were treated like real
human beings. He had a flying robot, for example, which
was obsessively in love with him, and flied around with
a movie screen on its forehead, which demonstrated all of
its emotions. It got hit with a baseball bat in one of the
climax scenes, and when Williams discovered it, it died,
and he bursted into tears.
type of trash is this, anyway? I have seen several movie
reviews of "Flubber" recently, and, although they are generally
bad, critics just go too easy on the film. With "Flubber,"
the worst remake in history, we as movie critics need to
take the gloves off.
1998, David Keyes, Cinemaphile.org.
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