Before Pirates of the Caribbean, director Gore Verbinski, was applying his quirky visual style to the family film Mouse Hunt. This is a movie that completely caught be by surprise. 1997 was (in hindsight) a terrible year for films aimed at children and families, but Mouse Hunt is one of the few bright spots amongst a slew of other inferior products. Winning chemistry between the leads and good storytelling turn this thin-premise into a very entertaining movie.
Down-on-their luck brothers Lars and Ernie Smuntz (Nathan Lane and Lee Evans) don’t think much of the crumbling old mansion they inherit…until they discover that their dilapidated estate is actually worth millions. But before they can cash in, they’ve got to rid the house of its single, stubborn occupant: a tiny and tenacious mouse, What might seem like child’s play becomes an epic battle between Man and mouse.
The second half of Mouse Hunt is mostly complied of excellently timed screwball mania. There are several sequences in which the brothers try various ways to rid themselves of the rodent and all of these scenes are pulled of with a glee and aptitude uncommon for this style of filmmaking, particularly during the late 1990’s. Despite the high tech CGI employed to animate the title Mouse, Mouse Hunt has the look and feel of a classic comedy from Hollywood’s Golden Era. Verbinski proves himself a maestro in turning a seemingly bad idea into mainstream entertainment for all.
Director: Gore Verbinski
Stars: Nathan Lane, Lee Evans, Christopher Walken