Hop – 2011

Directed by Tim Hill
Starring James Mardsen, Kaley Couoco, Gary Cole, Elizabeth Perkins, Russell Brand (voice/cameo), Chelsea Handler, David Hasselhoff, Voices Hugh Laurie, Hank Azaria
Screenplay by Ken Daurio, Brian Lynch, Cinco Paul

I am getting pretty tired of Russell Brand.  It probably happened for me about the same time it did with Katy Perry, albeit, I never took my amusement of him as far.  It takes around 10 minutes  for one to replace the rabbit protagonist, E.B.’s head with Russell’s blank stare, and then all hope for following the story is lost amid long hair and an Essex accent.  This ignores the annoyance of hearing Hank Azaria butcher yet another foreign-ish antagonist accent.  Hugh Laurie’s performance as Mr. Bunny is acceptable, if a little boring.  And I haven’t even gotten to the human “characters” yet.

I have always been ambivalent about James Mardsen.  His abilities in films like the X-Men series and Enchanted were always secondary to the story being told.  He continues the trend of relying on the special effects instead of acting.  His ham faced, blank stared approach is effective at portraying the type of clueless person who would most likely benefit from Obamacare’s “stay at home with mom and dad” medical plan.  Somehow, he at 38, and his 27-year-old sister played by C0uoco live with their considerably younger, adopted sister at the home of their parents, played by Perkins and Cole.

Mardsen, who is not interested in working for a living after being laid off, is “forcibly pushed out of the nest.”  Still covered by Obamacare, presumably.  He happens upon, or runs over, Brand’s bunny, E.B. and they immediately create the kind of chemistry that no one over 18 is interested in watching.  It’s still early in the movie, though.  We are made to press on.

Tim Hill has a record of creating movies where animated characters are woven with humans.  The humans almost always take a back seat, of course.  In the case of Muppets from Space, though the animated characters are so exceptional, you don’t need humans in any significant way.  In Hop, the animated characters are not so memorable, so we are left with the visual equivalent of the corn syrup that goes into most Easter Candy.

Is this movie harmful to anyone’s life?  Perhaps not.  My 5-year-old likes this movie a lot.  I am not sure I need to have her see E.B. try to get into the Playboy Mansion because it is a place for “sexy bunnies,” but that will only matter in about 15 years when she is subliminally drawn to Hef’s Jacuzzi…or is dating the kind of guy who doesn’t mind placing a copy of the magazine on the coffee table.

As you might have noticed, there has been no real discussion of the story.  To this all I can say is that the special effects are nice.

(**1/2 out of *****)


Emily’s review:

What did you think of the movie?

I think it was cute and funny.

Wasn’t it kind of dumb?

No.

Do you think it was strange that such an old man would be living at home with an older sister and their parents?

I…think…it’s kind of weird that he didn’t get a job, he keeps looking and says “It wasn’t good for me” or “the man smelled.”

Do you think you’ll like this movie in 10 years?

Yes.

Why?

It’s cute and it’s funny and my kids will like it.

Ellie’s review:

Can I review it?

What do you give the movie out of 5 stars?

I give it 100 out of 100!

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