Directed by Pete Hewitt, starring Bruce Cook, Rupert Grint, Simon Callow, Paul Giamatti and Ned Beatty.

A boy who can't stop farting. That's a joke that wears itself out after about four seconds. So how anyone stumped up the cash to make a film about that one gag is a complete mystery. And after seeing Thunderpants, trust me, it's not a mystery you want to explore any further. What goes on behind Patrick Smash's (Cook) back has forced his father to leave home, made him the school hate figure and resulted in him having only one friend - Alan Allen (Grint, Ron Weasley from the Harry Potter movie) an aspiring inventor with no sense of smell. Together they plan great things, fuelled by Patrick's dubious talent, and when a crew of US astronauts become stranded in deep space, it appears that there's only one bum for the job.

Base humour is all well and good, the Farrelly Brothers have made a career out of it, but the thing about base humour is that it actually has to be funny. While 'Thunderpants' has a perfectly decent performance from Cook it's arguable whether getting stuck in a room with a ten-year-old who's just consumed a catering size can of beans wouldn't be more entertaining. The script is boring, the dialogue clunky and the sound effects are more likely to make you groan than laugh. It insults kids by assuming that one thing will make them laugh constantly and while it may only be 87 minutes long, you wonder whether sticking a youngster in front of an episode of 'Once and Again' wouldn't result in the same level of enjoyment.

Releasing 'Thunderpants' with 'Episode II' in cinemas gives it the exact fate it so richly deserves. It's pointless, unfunny and guaranteed to leave as bad a taste in your mouth as anything Patrick Smash can cook up.

Harry Guerin