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Flubber (1997)

2281 votes, average 5.7 out of 10

A Detailed Review of “Flubber” (1997): A Nostalgic Sci-Fi Comedy

Flubber, directed by Les Mayfield and released in 1997, is a family-friendly sci-fi comedy that brings a beloved 1961 Disney classic, The Absent-Minded Professor, into the modern era. Starring Robin Williams, Marcia Gay Harden, Christopher McDonald, and Clancy Brown, the film combines slapstick humor with heartfelt moments, all centered around a bouncy, green substance known as “flubber.”

Plot Summary

The film follows Professor Philip Brainard (Robin Williams), an absent-minded yet brilliant scientist working at Medfield College. Obsessed with his experiments, Philip inadvertently neglects his fiancée, Sara Jean Reynolds (Marcia Gay Harden), the college president. On the day of their twice-postponed wedding, Philip discovers a miraculous, rubbery substance with incredible energy and elasticity, which he names “flubber.”

As Philip attempts to showcase flubber’s potential, he faces challenges from Wilson Croft (Christopher McDonald), a rival scientist who wants to steal his invention, and Chester Hoenicker (Raymond J. Barry), a businessman who wants to shut down Medfield College. With the help of his floating robot assistant, Weebo (voiced by Jodi Benson), Philip embarks on a series of comedic adventures to save his invention, his college, and his relationship with Sara.

Performance and Direction

Robin Williams shines as Professor Philip Brainard, bringing his signature blend of manic energy and heartfelt sincerity to the role. Williams’ ability to oscillate between zany comedic antics and touching emotional moments is a key highlight of the film. Marcia Gay Harden provides a grounded and warm performance as Sara, adding emotional depth to the narrative.

Christopher McDonald excels as the sleazy antagonist Wilson Croft, while Clancy Brown and Ted Levine provide additional comic relief as Hoenicker’s bumbling henchmen. Jodi Benson’s voice work as Weebo adds charm and personality to the floating robot, creating a memorable sidekick for Philip.

Director Les Mayfield successfully blends slapstick comedy with sci-fi elements, maintaining a light-hearted tone throughout the film. The screenplay, written by John Hughes and Bill Walsh, stays true to the spirit of the original while updating it for a contemporary audience. The special effects, particularly the CGI flubber, are a standout, adding a whimsical and magical quality to the film.

Critical Reception

Flubber received mixed reviews from critics. While some praised Robin Williams’ performance and the film’s visual effects, others criticized the plot for being too thin and the humor for being overly juvenile.

  • According to Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a score of 24% based on 33 reviews, with an average rating of 4.6/10. The consensus states: “Flubber bounces along with plenty of energy, but it doesn’t have much discipline: it’s amiable and forgettable, leaving little impression.”
  • Metacritic gives the film a score of 37 out of 100, indicating “generally unfavorable reviews.”

Despite the mixed critical reception, Flubber has found a place in the hearts of many viewers who appreciate its nostalgic charm and family-friendly humor.

Streaming Availability

Flubber, the film is available on several streaming platforms in the United States. You can stream it on:

  • Disney+
  • Amazon Prime Video

Additionally, the film is available for rental or purchase on:

  • Apple iTunes
  • Google Play Movies
  • Vudu

Final Thoughts

Flubber is a whimsical and entertaining family film that showcases Robin Williams’ comedic genius. While it may not have received high marks from critics, its blend of humor, heart, and inventive special effects make it an enjoyable watch, particularly for those who have a fondness for Disney’s classic tales.

For fans of light-hearted sci-fi comedies and those looking for a dose of nostalgia, Flubber is a delightful pick. Its combination of slapstick humor and heartfelt moments ensures a fun viewing experience for audiences of all ages.

For more reviews and updates on the latest movies, be sure to check out our blog regularly. Don’t forget to follow us on social media for the latest news and recommendations!

Posted on:
Views:11
Tagline:Catch it if you can!
Rate:PG
Year:
Duration: 93 Min
Country:
Release:
Language:English
Budget:$ 80.000.000,00
Revenue:$ 178.000.000,00
Director:

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