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Rugrats

Rugrats - Lets Shred!

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After the box-office flop, Tears of the Sun, Bruce
Willis proves how hard-up he is for a job.

Rugrats Go Wild
Review written by: Alex Sandell

Oh ... my ... GAWD!  Spike the Dog TALKS!  Not only does he talk, he talks in Bruce Willis's voice!  Woo-hoo!  After writing this review, I'm going to immediately go line-up for the midnight showing of Rugrats Go Wild!  I hear they've booked it on more screens than Spider-Man, X2 and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, combined!  People tell me that I'll have to arrive at least 22 days ahead, to actually get a seat!  It's lucky I saw that advance screening, or I may have been forced to wait until this time next year, just to avoid the crowds!  I'm determined to see this movie a ridiculous number of times, so I can brag about it in newsgroups -- as though watching a movie repetitively, is an accomplishment!  My signature will read something like, "Alex Sandell, Rugrats Go Wild count:  323 ... SO FAR!"  Maybe I'll change my nickname to "Spike."  And boy oh boy, you won't catch me scratching my "Oderama" card!  It will be in mint-condition 20 years from now, so I can enjoy the luscious scent of foot odor with my future children! 

In an inspired decision by screenwriter Kate Boutilier, who also penned the seminal The Wild Thornberrys Movie (possibly the best film ever made), the Thornberrys are actually featured in this film!  That's right!  Rugrats Go Wild is a crossover! YIPPEE, is all I can say.  Yippee-ki-yay, even!  How does this magic happen?  It turns out that Tommy Pickles (E.G. Daily) is a super big fan of the adventurous Sir Nigel Thornberry (Tim Curry), and, after the bumbling Stu Pickles (Jack Riley) decides to take the Rugrats gang on a family cruise that turns disastrous, the two cartoony groups meet up and become a big, gigantic family, hoping to sell Burger King toys to future victims of cardiac arrest. 

Sir Nigel Thornberry is on the island looking for a white leopard (Chrissie Hynde), but the leopard wants to chow down on the prominent explorer!  It is only then that the Thornberrys realize they must join forces with the Rugrats, to get home safely.  This is the most involving story ever put on screen!  Orson Welles, Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock and Federico Fellini could only dream of filming something this incredibly powerful!

Rugrats Go Wild is the ultimate gimmick-fest.  I don't know if any movie in history has had this many compelling tricks, meant to entice an audience.  Anything to divert the kid's attention away from the fact that they're sitting in a theater watching really lousy animation (and this animation sucks harder than ... uh ... this animation sucks), and sniffing stinky cards with Burger King ads shamelessly printed on them. 

The movie reminded me of those films back in the fifties and sixties, where people dressed up in cheesy bug uniforms, to scare the audience.  It reminded me of really bad 3D films.  It also reminded me of the "ghost goggles" that William Castle came up with for the original 13 Ghosts.  Still, there is a sense of theatrics in Rugrats Go Wild, that hasn't been seen in a long, long time (the schlocky 3D ending to Freddy's Dead is the most recent distraction-fest that I can think of). 

Although this is obviously the beginning of the end for the long running series, they're doing their best to go out with a bang.  The "bang" isn't much more than a dud of a firecracker, but at least they're trying.  Non-discriminating kids will most likely have a heck of a good time, because they're young, and their brains have yet to fully develop.

Still, kids aren't blind (well, some are, but that's beside the point), and after the novelty of smelling stinky stuff on a scratch-and-sniff card wears off, they're going to notice the difference between the flat drawings they're staring at, and the vivid animation put on screen for them in Finding Nemo.  My guess is that, after watching Rugrats once, they'll merrily trot back over to Nemo, for the quality family entertainment that they crave.

The only sequel I'd like to see, after enduring this one, is Rugrats Get Cancelled.  The group of once funny diaper-endowed characters has lost their edge.  Adding Bruce Willis as the voice of the dog, and promoting it like it's the greatest thing since the talented ensemble cast of voice actors assembled for Shrek, is pathetic.  After the lifeless Tears of the Sun, Willis is about as "hot" as Demi Moore was after she starred in Striptease.  Let's move on now, Nickelodeon.  Preferably, to Pixar.

On a scale of 1-10?

4

What does this rating mean?  Everyone rates things differently.  Your "5" could be my "7," or vice-versa.  Find out what MY rating means by clicking here.

Agree? Disagree? Feeling bored and wanna write a letter that you'll probably never get a response to?  Email me at alex@juicycerebellum.com 

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Coming next week -- Reviews of Hulk and Alex & Emma!

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Text (Copyright) 2003 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved].