movie film review | chris tookey

Looney Tunes: Back in Action

Warner Brothers - all rights reserved
  Looney Tunes: Back in Action  Review
Tookey's Rating
5 /10
Average Rating
4.67 /10
DJ Drake/Himself: Brendan Fraser, Kate: Jenna Elfman
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Directed by: Joe Dante
Written by: Larry Doyle

Released: 2003
Origin: US
Colour: C
Length: 91

Daffy Duck is fed up with being sidekick to Bugs Bunny. Daffy's diva-like behaviour ensures that he is fired by Warner Brothers' humourless Head of Comedy (Jenna Elfman) and escorted from the premises by a security guard who really wants to be a stuntman and once stood in for a spoiled superstar called Brendan Fraser (needless to say, Fraser plays both himself and the security guy). Whereupon Daffy, Bugs, Jenna and nice Brendan all become involved in rescuing the security man's superspy father (Timothy Dalton) from the clutches of a wicked businessman Mr Chairman (Steve Martin) who wishes to turn the population into monkeys who'll provide him with cheap labour to make running shoes. Or something.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Ever since Bob Hoskins teamed up with Roger Rabbit in 1988, there's been an audience for any picture that combines knockabout live-action comedy with anarchic cartoon characters. Even mediocre efforts such as Space Jam have made money, and Looney Tunes is a cut above that. It will amuse most children under 12, and will give grown-ups who can stand the noise more laughs than they might expect.

Joe Dante's direction has the same cheerfully subversive nuttiness that turned his Gremlins movies into hits. There are dozens of sight gags, some of which made me laugh out loud, and a chase through the Louvre, in which Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny are transformed into the styles of Dali, Seurat and Munch, that turns out to be one of the wittiest visual sequences in years.

All the more pity, then, that feeble plot development and sketchy human characters let it down badly in the later stages. Fraser and Elfman, though talented comedians, aren't given enough funny material; Timothy Dalton confirms that when having to deliver a quip he's more lethal than funny; and there is a laughter-freezing performance from Steve Martin, who goes so horribly over the top that he's hard to watch.

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