Friday, April 1, 2011
'Hop' is the latest family friendly film combining live action with animation. The heir to the Easter throne, who's being groomed to be the Easter Bunny (or E.B. as they call him), voiced by Russell Brand, doesn't want to fulfill his holiday duties. What he really wants to be is a drummer in a rock band. So he leaves the secret Easter candy making home underground and ends up getting hit by a car driven by human James Marsden. Coincidentally, Marsden is in a similar predicament in that he doesn't want to fulfill his humanly duty of getting a job like his parents, played by Gary Cole and Elizabeth Perkins, and sister, played by Kaley Cuoco, are increasingly insisting. (Marsden is 37 by the way. I'd say it's probably time to push that bird from the nest.) So Marsden and E.B. help each other find their way. Sound corny enough?
I find it difficult reviewing family friendly films, because honestly I generally just don't like them. Don't get me wrong, I'm a kid at heart and want to like them. And I used to like them, of course. But I'm not sure if that changed because I changed or they did. I think it's them though because I still love 'Mary Poppins', which will always be the gold standard for live action/animation blending, and I thoroughly enjoyed 'Enchanted' a few years ago, which also featured Marsden. But this film just didn't work for me. I like the cast, and visually it's a well made film from the creaters of 'Despicable Me', with a beautiful score by Christopher Lennertz, and an eye-popping opening scene to boot. But it's downhill from there, predictable and hokey throughout. It will probably be good enough for li'l kids, but adults on their own should steer clear.