Nathan Lane, Lee Evans, Christopher Walken
Directed by Gore Verbinski
Dreamworks 1998
98 minutes

Way before Pirates of the Caribbean, director Gore Verbinski directed Mousehunt, a brilliant slapstick comedy starring Nathan Lane and Lee Evans although the movie’s real star is the mouse.

This is a highly inventive comedy with a couple of brilliant callbacks to previous scenes (such as the return of the Jacuzzi)

Mouse Hunt is the story of estranged and strange brothers Ernest and Lars Smuntz inherit a string factory and an old house from their father. Both are down on their luck but the inheritance does nothing to change their luck until they find out the house was built by a famous architect, Larue, and may be worth millions.

With dreams of untold riches in their heads the brothers decide to renovate the house to get a better price at auction.

The problem is the house already has an owner:  mouse who can more than fight back when the brothers try to get rid of it and is much smarter than your average bear or the Smuntz brothers.

One of the best scenes involves Christopher Walken as an exterminator hired by the Smuntz brothers to get rid of their little problem.

Walken is at his goofy yet menacing best and the punchline to his visit to the house some of the greatest visual comedy ever filmed. The gags, slapstick and visual are simply brilliant, hilarious and as hilarious as the mouse itself.

There are a few inside jokes in Mousehunt including one where Nathan Lane who voiced Lion King says Hakuna Matata to one of his guests the night of the auction.

Although this comedy  is in many ways appropriate for children there are a few moments only adults will appreciate.

The ending of Mouse Hunt is also original and quite charming. This is a really good comedy.


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