Once (twice, actually; this is a remake) there was a guy named Willard who had rats in his basement, a terrifying gargoyle woman for a mother and the drill sergeant from Full Metal Jacket for a boss. His life sucked until he figured out he could make his basement rats do whatever he wanted. Then his life still sucked, but he had rat minions.
Now, I know when you have about a bajillion rats doing your bidding, you're not going to know all of them by name. The problem with Willard is, he only likes white rats, of which there is only one in his house. That rat's name is Socrates and Willard loves him. There's also a bigass brown rat named Ben who Willard hates because ... I don't know why. 'Cause he's really big, I guess.
Willard's kind of an asshole but he's the only protagonist we've got.
I kind of liked the movie. I liked bits and pieces of it. It started out good and there was a pretty satisfying revenge scene. I liked the fact that Willard's dad was played by pictures of Senator Mutant Hater (Bruce Davidson, who played Willard in the original movie).
I hated the way Willard treated Ben, which took up most of the movie, and I really hated the scene with the cat. It was completely unnecessary, it had nothing to do with the plot and it was, if you're me, genuinely upsetting. I think it was intended to be dark humor but it wasn't funny. It made me cry.
So the movie was kinda meh. Which is too bad because I remember the previews looking really cool.
Oh, and I'm confused because it had the American Humane Association's "No animals were harmed" seal on the end credits (hooray!) but there are several scenes when Willard picks Ben up by his tail which is, as I learned back when I was first reading up on pet rats, something you never ever do. What the hell, American Humane Association? Were you having a smoke break when they filmed those scenes or was that a pretend rat?
Actually, I think Ben was the best actor in the movie. He had a way of sort of narrowing one eye that really made it look like he was glaring at Crispin Glover. It was pretty cool.
End of line.