Dir: Peter Hewitt
Star: Bruce Cook, Rupert Grint, Simon Callow, Ned Beatty
Cert / Year: PG / 2002
Format: DVD R2

Patrick Smash has a big problem, and that is he just can't stop breaking wind. This has made him unpopular with just about everyone, from his school mates to his parents. In fact he has only one friend in the whole world, and this is a boy genius with no sense of smell Alan A. Allen. Patrick asks Allen to help him solve his problem, and so he invents Thunderpants for him. However while working Alan realises that Patrick's flatulence may be just the propulsion source he needs for his flying machine. Meanwhile Patrick dreams of being a spaceman, have these two got a common destiny?

Ok lets get this straight Thunderpants is very much a kids film. This is not one of those films which works on two levels it is just for kids. Having said that is it any good? Well yes and no. In some ways it works beautifully with charming characters, good performances and a fine helping of directorial flair. In others it fails to impress with its bland story.

Lets start with the positives, and head of these is the fine cast. The most outstanding performance comes from one of the child actors, Rupert Grint. Following on from his role of Ron Weasley in Harry Potter he does another great job with the character of Alan A. Allen. The main role is filled by Bruce Cook and he too is very good. He ensures that Patrick is likeable and simple with just a touch of vulnerability. The adult cast members are a talented bunch indeed, from the likes of Ned Beatty to Simon Callow all good actors. However they all don't half mug it to death with a massive degree of overacting aplomb. Not terrible for a kids film but maybe a little restraint wouldn't have gone amiss.

The film is from Peter Hewitt the writer \ director of the excellent Borrowers film, and much of his visual flair has rubbed off on this project. A strange green and brown palette has been used for most of the scenes and this gives the film an unusual feel. It creates an interesting fairy tale effect of skewed normality. In fact the whole direction and editing is very slick, it's just a shame that very little is happening story wise.

This is the films biggest fault. The story just ambles aimlessly around, without much pace or purpose. The reason for this is the lack of a central bad guy character. The whole film would have really taken off (no pun intended) if there was a baddy trying to use Patrick's gift for nefarious purposes. As it stands the story is a pleasant but ultimately unforfilling distraction. Other than that the story is aimed very much at children. Don't expect the sort of grown up jokes included in films like Monsters Inc., this is basically a series of fart gags. Kids will love it, but adults may be left cold.

Thunderpants is a nice film. Children will enjoy it more than adults, and this is no bad thing because this is who the film is squarely aimed at. This is a film which could have been better if the story had been so pointless (nice moral message yes, interesting action no way). The cast certainly try to make the best of the script, but in many places it just isn't funny enough. Nowadays there is no excuse not to include adults in on the fun and this is where it fails. So sit your kids in front of the television and enjoy the hour and a half peace you've just bought yourself.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Picture 2.35:1 Anamorphic Very nice. The greens are very urm. Green.
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 Good but not often called to do much.
Features Director Commentary track
Deleted scenes
Music Video
Storyboard and gallery
Cast and crew interviews
Patrick Smash's video diary
Fart Montage
Verdict Another great modern DVD, however the extras are aimed rather towards the adult audience. Given the target audience I would have liked to see more for the kids.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Reviewed by Glitz Link Back Top Home