Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Patrick Smash is a farter. That's the joke. Geddit?

Alan A Allen is a brainy swot who invents things. He has red curly hair and specs and big teeth. He smiles a lot.

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No one likes Patrick because he's fat, slow and farty. No one likes Alan because he speaks posh, looks funny and doesn't join in. Naturally, they become friends.

As a comedy for children, Peter Hewitt's film is one-tracked. The flatulance gag lasts for about half an hour and then wears off. Rupert Grint, who plays Ron in Harry Potter, has fun with Alan's plum-toned vowels. It's a caricature, a piece of pantomime, exactly in tune with the spirit of the film. Simon Callow's opera singer and Stephen Fry's barrister are equally over the top.

The problem lies with Patrick (Bruce Cook). He is neither heroic, nor sympathetic. He has two stomachs, like a cow, which explains his "gift", but he's not a lad to remember.

The moral of the tale is that everyone has a talent, however improbable. This is lost, alas, amongst the debris of failed farce, although, it must be said, there is something sweetly surreal about a moon rocket powered from an 11-year-old boy's bottom.

Reviewed on: 29 May 2002
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An 11-year-old English schoolboy blows farts that can fuel an American moon rocket.
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Director: Peter Hewitt

Writer: Phil Hughes

Starring: Bruce Cook, Rupert Grint, Simon Callow, Stephen Fry, Celia Imrie, Paul Giamatti, Ned Beatty

Year: 2002

Runtime: 87 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: UK


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