Help! I’m A Fish (2001) – movie review

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Movie Review by Vivienne Messenger

Starring: Alan Rickman, Terry Jones, Teryl Rothery, Tabitha St Germain, James Corlett Bio
Directors: Michael Hegner, Stefan Fjeldmark

Fly, a young, adventurous 13 year-old boy lives for fishing. Careering downstairs, fishing gear in hand, he cannonballs straight into his rather large aunt Anna, entering their front door and bounces off her. Disaster! His parents are going out and Aunt Anna has arrived with her son Chuck to look after him but mostly his kid sister Stella.

Aunt Anna disappears upstairs with Stella to read her a story that will hopefully send her to sleep. Fly is left with his geeky, intelligent cousin, nose forever in his laptop poring over a theory. Fly starts to tease his cousin, bored out of his mind, when Stella brings the news that aunt Anna is asleep. Fly, never one to miss an opportunity, wastes no time in grabbing his skateboard, fishing tackle and holding Stella as well ,sets off for his favourite fishing spot with Chuck in tow – like a fish out of water – wobbling dangerously behind on roller skates.

Arriving at an isolated rocky promontory jutting out from a sheer cliff and reached by jumping over several large boulders poking out from the sea, Fly is soon absorbed in fishing and feels a tug on his line. Reeling it in Fly plucks an old tin can from the sea that has gurgling noises coming from it. Peering in he finds a small sea horse that Stella promptly bonds with and wants to keep but at her brother’s insistence throws it back into the water.

Suddenly the tide is rushing in and the ever more turbulent water has cut them off from the mainland and with the trio backed up against the cold, hard rock face, water pounding nearer, Chuck is suddenly alone, then he too disappears falling backwards into a rock cavern with a difference – it’s an underground laboratory of a marine biologist, one Professor Mac Krill.

The professor is convinced the sea will overrun the land and had invented a fish potion that when swallowed turns humans into fish but if the antidote isn’t taken in 48 hours – fish you remain!

Stella, blissfully unaware of the implications drinks the fish potion thinking it’s lemonade and turns into a small starfish. Fly finds the starfish and not realising it’s Stella throws her into the sea, but with Chuck’s help he discovers the grim reality that it was his sister instead. With Fly and Chuck in hot pursuit as fish, the fishing trip becomes an underwater adventure with a 48 hour time limit!

If you want to immerse and lose yourself in an adventurous movie with plenty of twists and thrills when the trio are reunited underwater, braving the perils they encounter on their desperate mission to find the antidote that has fallen into the hands of a scheming, power mad fish called Joe – then all the family are in for a ‘fishtastic’ treat.

Accompanying the movie throughout is a very catchy pop soundtrack especially the title track from the Danish teenage trio – Little Trees – that has gone platinum in Scandinavia and is being released in the UK on 13 August.

Definitely a ‘must-see’ movie, which will enthral and appeal not only to children but also to any accompanying adults, who have been dragged along but will equally be entertained.

5 out of 6 stars