Reviewed by Ken M. Wilson
Rating: 4 Beans
amily movies, as a rule, have always been enjoyable for me. My folks dragged me to billions of these throughout my childhood -- everything from "The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again" to "Pete's Dragon." Sundays were spent catching older flicks with my father... this is, without a doubt, the catalyst for my life-long love of movies. One of my favorite films from the every beginning was Fred MacMurray's kiddy classic, "The Absent Minded Professor." Flubber was something I had dreamed of getting my hands on since I was the shortest of four kids (it didn't matter to me that there was a thirteen year difference between me and my next oldest sibling) and had to work extra hard during our family horse games.
I must admit, I was slightly ready to see the 1997 release of "Flubber" starring Robin Williams. I knew full well that one of the least desirable words in the English language ever uttered was "remake" and this film was not an exception. Fred MacMurray's past work should never have been given a fresh '90s look... stick with the classics, that's why they're called classics. Don't even get me started about the remake of "Miracle on 34th Street."
Williams stars as the absent minded professor that is scheduled to marry his sweetheart but has become so involved in his work that he forgets, much to everyone's chagrin. His nemesis, played by eternal character actor Christopher "Wilson" McDonald, has stolen the Professor's ideas in the past and passed them on as his own. This time around, Wilson intends to steal the Professor's fiancee.
Once this is determined, Robin Williams plans to win back his girlfriend by any means necessary. It doesn't hurt that he's invented a mysterious substance that has incredible energy-saving qualities. It's both able to fly and made of rubber, therefore, it's flubber! This invention comes just in time to save the college, where both Williams and his fiancee are employed. After a quick slick-down of the college athlete's shoes, everyone watches as the underdogs completely destroy the opposing team with ease. This victory saves the fiancee from having to spend a weekend with Wilson. Hurray!
The remainder of the film is spent in who is going to own and further develop flubber, exploiting it for loads of money. You and I both know who ends up with the best of all worlds and who gets their come-uppance. Hey, it's a kids film with no punches pulled.
Children will love it, adults with average IQs will say "this here is a good quality film!" For those of us who are viewing this film as a "BM Night" selection, it's not bad enough to be good... hence, a rating of four Beans is all I can slap on it.
Ken's Cameo Corner -- keep an eye out for the two hooligans hired to check out Robin Williams. One is the hulking idiot Clancy Brown that was Sgt. Zim in "Starship Troopers" and the other was penis-tuck champion Ted Levine, who played the killer Jame Gumm in "Silence of the Lambs." Am I good or what?