Join or Sign In

Sign in to customize your TV listings

Continue with Facebook Continue with email

By joining TV Guide, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

Mouse Hunt Reviews

From the director who brought you those belching Budweiser frogs comes a technically dazzling children's comedy with a serious identity crisis. Gore Verbinski's first feature would like to be a kiddie crowd-pleaser -- HOME ALONE, maybe, but with cute vermin -- but its morbid humor, coarse language and surprising lewdness render it fairly inappropriate for a large segment of the audience who would gladly sit through a movie about a little mouse who lives in a big house. After the death of string manufacturer Rudolf Smuntz (the late William Hickey, who seems to be drawing his own last breaths onscreen), his two sons -- cantakerous restauranteur Ernie Smuntz (Nathan Lane) and his idealistic brother Lars (Lee Evans) -- are saddled with a failing family business and a dilapidated old mansion. Via one plot contrivance too many, the boys must take refuge within the mansion's crumbling walls, unaware that there's already a tenant in residence: an extremely resourceful -- and uncatchable -- mouse. Granted, the film is a technical marvel: The many chases through rooms, under floors and behind walls -- including one very scary encounter with a nail-gun -- are all done to jaw-dropping, state-of-the-art perfection. It helps compensate for the fact that Adam Rifkin's morose, often risque script isn't very funny, and too many plot-lines are left dangling in the confusion. (And dare we suggest the mouse suffers from a lack of motivation and insufficient character development?) Not that the kids won't love it -- they'll be swept up by the fast pace and the Three Stooges-style violence, and there's no end of things for them to look at. But be warned: Once Lars starts bragging about how he and his wife spent the night making love "like animals," they'll be turning their tender, questioning eyes to you.