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.