Monthly Archives: April 2011

Three-Word Review of ‘Hop’

Misses the basket.

Captions don’t count: I don’t like spending time badmouthing movies I didn’t care for because a.) making a good movie is ridiculously hard and b.) tearing down a mediocre movie is ridiculously easy. It’s enough to say that “Hop” – though a hit with my kids – is not funny enough for me to sit through it again. James Marsden does his honest best to yuk it up with a CG rabbit, but nobody says or does a thing that I found worth expending energy to laugh about. It didn’t have to be this way; I think there’s a good movie in “Hop” that never found its way out of the rabbit hole. Here’s some constructive criticism for the moment, in 20 years, when some studio opts to do the remake. ITEM THE FIRST: The Bunny Logic is unsound. Why do some characters freak out when they see the bunny while others do not? In a universe where the Easter Bunny actually delivers baskets and hides eggs unbidden, it would be an accepted fact that he exists. No one should be surprised by a magic bunny, because *someone* put all that stuff under the hedgerows every Easter. ITEM THE SECOND: Further internal logic problems: A major segment in the film involves the bunny following Marsden into a job interview and ruining it for him, because Marsden is so preoccupied with keeping the rabbit under wraps. Why does he care if the bunny is seen -- especially when he spends the rest of the movie toting the rabbit around in public? Broken logic, disconnected viewer. ITEM THE THIRD: The prologue narration gives away (and spoils) the most interesting premise of the whole film: That the bumbling human protagonist ends up as the new Easter Bunny. That’s actually an interesting twist that would have been far more fun to discover in the finale. Far, far, far more fun. I would have been surprised. Pleasantly. ITEM THE FOURTH AND FINAL: In a story about following your dreams, the main character learns he must suck it up and accept the predestination he was trying to escape. The entire story revolves around this runaway bunny rebelling against his father’s plans for him, and following his dreams as a drummer. In the end he discovers that an artist’s life is too impractical, and that he must accept the role as chief bureaucrat in a candy delivery firm (albeit in a co-chief capacity). That’s probably realistic life advice, but it’s a downer as a film for impressionable kiddies. BONUS ITEM THE FIFTH AND TRULY FINAL: I have finally reached Hispanic Ha-Ha Saturation Limit. Like Puss in Boots in “Shrek” and Featherstone the Flamingo in “Gnomeo & Juliet,” a wacky Spanish-accented character provides the requisite Amusing Dialect Humor in "Hop." This character is one of a googleplex of baby chicks in the movie, but he is the only one who speaks with this accent. Why? Perhaps it was the only way the filmmakers could figure to render the unfunny dialog slightly more laugh-worthy. Ai caramba, el hassenfeffer.

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