FLUBBER

Stars: Robin Williams, Marcia Gay Harden, Christopher McDonald, Wil Wheaton, Raymond J. Barry. Written by Bill Walsh, John Hughes. Directed by Les Mayfield. Rated PG.

Professor Phillip Brainardís (Robin Williams) personal life is in a shambles because heís about to miss his own wedding for the third time. The reason for this particular memory lapse, though, is particularly good for him professionally. After months of fruitless experiments, he has finally succeeded in creating a material that can be used as a new source of energy. Dubbed flubber (short for flying rubber), the fluorescent-green, jelly-like substance reacts to any stimulation by creating a disproportionately larger reaction. Professor Brainard uses this revolutionary creation to make his car fly and the local high school basketball team jump higher. Along the way he must contend with an unscrupulous rival (Christopher McDonald) and a pair of thugs who attempt to steal the invention at the behest of their boss (Raymond J. Barry).

"Flubber" is an uninspired remake of Disneyís "The Absent-Minded Professor". Williams seems confined in the Fred MacMurrary role, disallowed from unleashing his manic energy. It also seems that the film- makers relied too heavily on the appeal of their computer-generated goo effects and didnít bother to infuse the film with much humor. This is especially disheartening considering that "Flubber" is billed as a comedy. Ironically, the filmís weakest point is that it is so faithful to the original. Instead of finding new and wacky ways to use Brainardís incredible discovery, the writers merely recreated scenes and situations from the original film. A flub, indeed.


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