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The Rats

Rats, The (2002) Movie Poster
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  •  USA  •    •  94m  •    •  Directed by: John Lafia.  •  Starring: Mädchen Amick, Vincent Spano, Shawn Michael Howard, Daveigh Chase, David Fonteno, Sheila McCarthy, Elisa Moolecherry, Joe Pingue, Kathryn Winslow, Aron Tager, Yanna McIntosh, Jennifer Coristine, Kim Poirier.  •  Music by: Elia Cmiral.
       In Manhattan, when a client is bitten by a rat in the dressing room of the Garsons Department Store and contracts Weil's disease, the manager Susan Costello is assigned to hire and give all the necessary support to the best exterminator in New York, Jack Carver. The efficient Jack and his assistant Ty find a colony of mutant rats and try to convince the health department administrator and former partner of Jack, Ray Jarrett, how serious the infestation is. But the politician Ray is interested in covering the problem to protect economical interests of powerful groups.

Trailers:

   Length:  Languages:  Subtitles:
 0:36
 
 
 0:57
 
 

Review:

Image from: Rats, The (2002)
Image from: Rats, The (2002)
Image from: Rats, The (2002)
Image from: Rats, The (2002)
Image from: Rats, The (2002)
Image from: Rats, The (2002)
Image from: Rats, The (2002)
Image from: Rats, The (2002)
Image from: Rats, The (2002)
Image from: Rats, The (2002)
Image from: Rats, The (2002)
Image from: Rats, The (2002)
Image from: Rats, The (2002)
As someone who has kept rats as pets and knows what wonderful companions they can be, I am usually disappointed by the way they are portrayed on the screen. Yes, this is a somewhat silly movie, but on the whole it worked very well and my perpetual ratty craving was well-satisfied with so many closeups of sleek, well-fed rodents.

I was delighted to see Mädchen Amick in this film - recognising her name from 'Twin Peaks' but not immediately being able to remember her character. She looks fantastic and it made me realise just how young she was when she played Shelly Johnson.

I was also delighted with the CGI, particularly for the "fountains of rats" scene at the empty pool. Yes, it was silly, and we did laugh, but all those pretend rats actually looked real, not like static cut-outs pasted over and over, and not like the typical joke-store rubber effigies either. As for the scenes with real rats, they were beautifully done, especially the closeups.

I'm pretty demanding when it comes to CGI and animatronics, particularly for animals. I'm critical of angles, texture and lighting, and many films have been spoiled (imo) by their too-glossy critters which just can't be taken seriously in the context of their roles. I remember being astonished after seeing 'Congo' when it came out - I hadn't been able to pick the fake apes and that's something that I usually do pretty much automatically (having spent some hands-on time with chimpanzees in my childhood and being generally obsessive on the subject). I can pick a person in a monkey suit nine times out of ten, but 'Congo' was the first time I didn't realise I was seeing CGI, and I was hugely impressed.

So, any film that can utilise large numbers of animals and make them realistic... even if you know they have to be CGI... and when those animals are one of the handful of species that I know well enough to tell the difference between the real deal and a mockup... that film gets a big thumbs-up regardless of how silly or painful the rest of it is. In other words, if it weren't for the wonderful proliferation of credible rats in this movie I would have given it a 7, which in my system means "liked it well enough but wasn't anything special". Without Mädchen Amick it might even have been a 6.


Review by Madolyn Griffith from the Internet Movie Database.

 

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Sep 16 2017, 21:25
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