Rating: 1 star out of 5
The Stars: James Marsden, Kaley Cuoco, Elizabeth Perkins, David Hasselhoff, featuring the voices of: Russell Brand, Hugh Laurie, Hank Azaria.
The Story: It’s the eve of Easter and teenage rabbit, E.B (Brand) has no wish to take over the Easter Bunny mantle from his semi-retired father (Laurie). So in true adolescent angst fashion, E.B decides to run away and go to Hollywood to pursue his dreams of becoming America’s Next Top Drummer. Along the way, he gets inadvertently knocked down by Fred O’Hare (Marsden), an indolent young man heading out to help his sister (Cuoco) house-sit her boss’s mega mansion in Hollywood Hills. Fred is eventually manipulated into taking care of the wayward rabbit and pandemonium ensues. Meanwhile back in CG land, 2nd-in-command Easter Chick Carlos (Azaria) is plotting a revolution against the bunnies. E.B’s father has also released the Pink Berets, a trio of female ninja assassins, to track him down. Can this young rabbit, now with human sidekick in tow, endeavour to save the day and still make it to David Hasselhoff’s talent show?
The Buzz: With Easter round the corner, Hop is the newest festive-themed film produced by Illumination Entertainment and Universal Studios. Director Tim Hill (Alvin and the Chipmunks, Garfield) helms the project, together with Despicable Me producer Chris Meledandri.
inSing.com says: We honestly believe James Marsden is unfailingly accepting roles in terrible films just so everyone else can proclaim how Hollywood has (yet again) failed to realize an actor’s true comedic potential. That’s got to be the only reason why he wants to associate himself with Hop—a movie that’s like 5kg of bad everything trying to cram itself into a 2kg bag of crap filmmaking. The guy is charming, funny, has lovely dimples and was such an adorable belly of laughs in Enchanted, but is apparently the go-to person for these creepy live-action/CGI hybrids. While it’s kind of sweet to learn that Marsden is also making this one for his kids, one can think of a dozen other non-dreadful films he could have picked.
With regards to the story (or severe lack thereof), hasn’t this plotline been made 200 times before starring John Travolta and Robin Williams in a fat suit/dress? Seems like someone simply handed Hill a mountain of cash and told him to go ahead and get his hands dirty with a festive, family movie—you know, whatever, as long as there’s some sort of CG involved. Better yet if it features a bunch of wildly talented Hollywood actors. Maybe then no one would notice the total lack of script. Of course you should weave political commentary (working class chicks vs. elitist rabbits) into the mix as well; our adult audiences always like a little misguided edge in their stew. And if you manage to desecrate a couple of well-worn pop ditties and convince a washed-out TV star to do a cameo, we might even throw in a remotely credible producer!
Nonetheless, it’s hats off to a truly wonderful cast. Evil Carlos is deliciously classic, villainous Azaria, and for a fleeting moment you’re almost ready to excuse this horrendous excuse of a film. That’s until he morphs into a disturbing chick/bunny crossbreed, and you’re not so sure you really want to bring the kids to see this. An utterly British Laurie is similarly such a delight to listen to, but is likewise wasted on a horrifying screenplay. Brand is in his usual element of douche baggery with E.B and plays the mischievous rabbit well. How Marsden can read a line lauding Hasselhoff’s “talent” with a straight face is beyond me (cruel joke or not). Forget Colin Firth, hand this man the Oscar instead.
Hop ultimately wants to masquerade as kiddy fare, but the jokes in it appear to be for simple adults. And for all the terrible ailments he has inflicted on our sensibilities and ears, Aaron Carter’s “I Want Candy” doesn’t deserve to be covered in this humiliation.
Beckii C is a former film production tyrant who also happens to be an insatiable movie addict. When not engaged in spirited debate, she can be found scouring the town for perfect vintage fashion and whispering at small animals. Her guilty pleasures include listening to bands who can't play their own instruments and devouring cream puffs.