In 1961, Walt Disney graced us with the corny but fun The Absent-Minded Professor. And in 1997, they tried to improve on their already good formula by releasing Flubber, a horrid and pointless remake with a few too many updates.
Robin Williams is the absent-minded professor this time, although there's not much difference between his other comical characters. Of course, he doesn't do a bad job, but this seemed like a "Do it just because" kind of part. His sidekick is the worst creation I have seen since Jar Jar Binks: Weebette, a flying female robot that happens to fantasize about her creator. If anything could be more pointless, stupid, and a waste of movie time, it is Weebette. There wasn't a moment that I didn't want to apply a shotgun to the scrap of metal and make it several scraps of metal.
Now on to the flubber itself. While in the original it was a black rubber-like substance that just bounced around (thankfully), the material in Flubber looks like green jello, has a mind of its own, and makes sound effects. It can change shape and, in the dumbest scene in the movie, manage a musical number. Yes, in the middle of the basketball the movie splits off to show several flubbers dance around. That brings us to the basketball scene, one of the funniest and best parts of the original movie. In Flubber, it is sidelined, hardly earning five minutes of airtime, and no where as well done as the original. Furthermore, the ending involves the same shenanigans used in countless other films; beating up the bad guys.
Flubber is just bad. There isn't one thing that is an improvement over the original, and in most areas, it is a lot worse.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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