Apr 19, 2014

Review: Hop (2011)

In the world of Hop, Easter is like Christmas. The Easter Bunny rides some egg-shaped sled contraption pulled by chicks and he goes around on Easter to deliver treats. The bunny himself lives on Easter Island and manufactures chocolate and other assorted sweets in mass quantities for the children of the world. Or at least those who celebrate Easter anyway.

The current Easter Bunny is getting long in the tooth and is looking to retire. His son E.B. who is voiced by Russell Brand will soon take up the mantle. He's a bit of a wild child though and dreams of becoming a drummer. He rocks out to Green Day and therefore draws the ire of his dad who says he has to live up to his family's heritage instead of wasting his time on dreams of drumming.

Hop is actually a live-action/animated movie so the other character we're introduced to is Fred O'Hare, played by James Marsden. Fred's problem is that he has difficulty holding onto any sort of job and his current job searching efforts aren't going so well either. Good thing the script calls for a huge mansion that Fred gets to housesit  and a job interview the next day! How convenient. Now the stage is set for both of these characters to meet up and move the story along.

 As you can imagine, we get the whole talking animal, run away scared thing when Fred and E.B. meet for the first time. Unoriginality is probably the defining character of Hop unfortunately. It tries to dispel that by having lots of musical interludes with catchy pop songs and cutesy animation. The script is definitely the biggest problem where everything is poorly developed and there are at times total lapses in logic. Not to mention that all the supporting characters are cardboard cutouts.

James Marsden plays his character way over the top with tons of expression. I guess this is because he's acting at times without anything real in front of him. I don't think he's a bad actor but Hop is not his finest work. He's not afforded much charity from the script when all he's really tasked to do is freak out and get angry at E.B. when he does something he's not supposed to.

Russell Brand does his voice acting decently enough but the writing just doesn't let him showcase his talent. I know that he's not for everyone but it's clear that Hop keeps him on a tight leash. He's there just to talk in an English accent and that's pretty much it.

Hop is of course a kid's movie and I'm sure there will be kids who enjoy the bright colours and cute animals along with the songs they hear on the radio every day. You can call me cynical but Hop is a cash grab, pure and simple. In my books it takes more than just Billboard Top 100 songs to carry a movie.

5/10