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OSMOSIS JONES

SYNOPSIS:
Ignoring warnings from his daughter Shane (Elena Franklin), unfit zookeeper Frank (Bill Murray) eats a boiled egg and an oyster covered in life-threatening germs. As the poisoned food enters Frank's body an animated 'bodycop' named Osmosis Jones (voice of Chris Rock) and a cold relief capsule named Drix (David Hyde Pierce) are called in to eradicate the dangerous viral infection.

Review by Richard Kuipers:
The film that torpedoed Warner Brothers' animation arm (budget: US$75 million; domestic gross: US$13.6 million) probably stiffed because it appears to fall between audience demographics. Too scary for very small moppets and not adult-looking enough for most full-price ticket buyers, Osmosis Jones is an orphan that has waited a year after its US release to hit Australian screens. This may be a difficult marketing sell but it's far from a creative failure.

The live action scenes directed by the Farrelly Brothers are a far cry from the gross outs of Dumb and Dumber and There's Something About Mary. The brothers have left most of their trademark toilet humour behind and the scenes with Bill Murray (always an appealing slob) even include positive messages (gasp) about watching what you eat. The animated scenes directed by Piet Kroon and Tom Sito occupy most of the running time and are an imaginative and eyecatching tour of the human body. Imagine Fantastic Voyage (1966) re-drawn with texta colours and you have the idea.

Osmosis Jones, voiced by Chris Rock, is an appealing little globule who works in the 3rd precinct of the left armpit lymph nodes and is the butt of jokes in 'The City of Frank'. All he wants to do is make good by saving his host before a deadly virus runs amok. I liked the layout inside Frank. There's a Mayor Fleming (William Shatner), a Cerebellum Hall and a Tom Colonic (Ron Howard) who works guess where. That said, this is done in good taste and there are no nasty tours down alimentary canals or jaunts to genital geography - making it suitable for a wider age-range of kids than it may seem. There are some dull spots here and there and a few of the minor characters are irritating but overall this is a good fun 'toon worth seeing.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

OSMOSIS JONES (PG)
(US)

CAST: Bill Murray; VOICES: Chris Rock, Laurence Fishburne, David Hyde Pierce, Brandy Norwood, William Shatner, Ron Howard

PRODUCER: Dennis Edwards, Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly, Zak Penn, Bradley Thomas

DIRECTOR: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly

SCRIPT: Marc Hyman

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Mark Irwin

EDITOR: Lois Freeman-Fox, Stephen Schaffer, Sam Seig

MUSIC: Randy Edelman

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Sydney J. Bartholomew Jr.

RUNNING TIME: 95 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 1, 2002

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Home Video

VIDEO RELEASE: November 27, 2002







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