hop 2011 DI
2011 Running time: 95 Certificate: u Not yet rated
hop 1S

Synopsis

Easter egg delivery heir 'EB' - the teenage son of the Easter Bunny - isn't too keen on inheriting the family business and would rather spend his time playing the drums in a band. Setting off to Hollywood to seek his fortune, he bumps into Fred (James Marsden), a down-on-his-luck slacker who is tricked into taking care of the talking bunny as EB plots his music-making future. Cue fluffy wabbits a-go-go, a commando squad of ultra-cute she-bunnies, and a Russell Brand-voiced hero who poops Jelly Beans.

Director

  • Tim Hill

Cast

  • James Marsden

  • Russell Brand

  • Elizabeth Perkins

  • Hugh Laurie

  • Kaley Cuoco

Review

To moviegoers above a certain age, there is no scarier sell for a film than 'From the Director of Garfield 2 and Alvin & The Chipmunks'.

Yet with over $500 million grossed between them worldwide, you'd be a fool to ignore that director Tim Hill has stumbled across a formula for box office gold.

Hop doesn't deviate from the sure-fire blueprint, with yet another live-action/CGI mish-mash that spends more time on crafting fluffy Walking Happy Meals than developing those trivial things like plot, character or humour.

It turns out that the life of the Easter Bunny is a full-time gig, with a host of magical powers passed down through generations of adorably fluffy rabbits who are then tasked with ensuring children across the world wake up to all manner of confectionary-laden baskets on Easter morning.

But when current Easter Bunny (Laurie) attempts to saddle his irresponsible, privileged son E.B. (Brand) with the responsibility, E.B. bolts away from their magical production plant on Easter Island to follow his real dream of becoming a famous rock star in LA, leaving Mr Bunny at the mercy of the factory's strangely socialist chick employees.

One brief car crash later, and E.B finds himself shacked up with irresponsible, privileged human Fred O'Hare (Marsden), a lifelong slacker whose folks have recently kicked him out of the family home in the hope that he finally grows up and, just like E.B., makes his own destiny.

It's a story kids have seen a thousand times, and even recently in a far cleverer, engaging and touching way (How To Train Your Dragon), and Hop brings nothing new or unique to the table.

Half the problem is the weirdly mishandled attempt to make the Easter Bunny as socially resonant, and universally relevant as that other seasonal movie mainstay, Santa Claus.

The reality is, short of munching on a chocolate egg once a year, kids don't happen to care about the Easter Bunny. But Hill certainly gives it his best shot, lumbering the mythos with a backstory involving magical flying sleighs and The Santa Claus-esque toy/sweet factory.

Still, cute-wise, they've certainly included everything you need to keep the kids entertained. There are fluffy bunnies a-go-go, a commando squad of ultra-DAW-able female bunnies, and E.B. is the quintessential market research creation - he's as fluffy as they come, poops Jelly Beans and has a 'groovy' character quirk (playing the drums).

Brand and Marsden dial-in their performances, but they're both far from offensive, and despite the lacklustre tone, pacing, and oddly anti-climatic finale, there are at least a couple of chuckles to be had, including E.B's mistaken attempt at crashing with the Playboy Bunnies, and a surreally prolonged Hoff cameo.

And, if anything, it should be commended for being the first kids film in ages that didn't feel the need to throw in a hippity-hoppity breakdancing rap scene.

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