Tuesday November 27, 2007
Every year there is an animated film that receives so much hype and praise that you almost hate it before you even see it because you're so tired about hearing how wonderful it is (ex: Happy Feet, Cars). Well if you're not a fan of animated films, like me, you feel that way. My issue with animated films is they rarely live up to the hype, at least in my eyes.
Patton Oswalt (better known as Spence from the hit series King of Queens) voices the character of Remy, a small rat with a love for cooking. Compared to the rest of his family Remy is a little strange. While the rest of them eat whatever they can get their hands on Remy sniffs past the tossed out scraps and looks for the finely cooked morsels. His idol is a very famous (and fat) chef by the name of Gusteau, whom he dreams of being able to imitate.
His dreams of following in the footsteps of Gusteau are about to become reality, when he is separated from his family and finds himself in the sewers above the restaurant of the great Gusteau himself! Gusteau's has gone downhill though in recent years, following the death of the great chef, and the famed five star restaurant is now a measly three stars. When Remy joins forces with the talent-less new employee named Linguini, his cooking begins to turn things around and puts Gusteau's back on the map. But when Linguini lets a false success get to his head Remy begins to feel more used than appreciated, which leads to some interesting twists.
Outstanding animation aside Ratatouille's major fault is a story that drags on for far too long. The flow of the film comes and goes in waves. The beginning is pretty good and when Remy begins working at Gusteau's its quite entertaining, but then about halfway through the story starts becoming muddled. It's all simply not engaging and interesting enough to support a two hour run-time and I began to feel the effects of that after a while. Where Ratatouille truly shines is in the final twenty minutes when the main characters work out their issues and the conclusion occurs. In the end, Ratatouille is another over hyped animation film that suffers from a story that's better suited for a 70-90 minute run-time, and finds it's brightest moment at the very end where it attempts to save a film that's been overcooked for far too long.