"Cute bunnies or crude commercialism – you decide"
I’m starting to think that I’m a major cynic. I’m seemingly unable to watch a film nowadays without noticing some kind of obvious branding, shoehorned into the film to satisfy ‘the suits’ who have made a deal without even thinking about the films’ integrity. My cynic alarm therefore went into overdrive when I was asked to review ‘Hop’, a film about the Easter Bunny released just before Easter – somehow I didn’t think the timing was based on the religious holiday.
Anyway, let’s put my cynicism aside for one second and talk about the film. As you’d expect from Chris Meledandri and Illumination Entertainment, the animation is spot on – we’ve certainly come a long way from ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’! It’s a shame that the rest of the film doesn’t live up to those high standards.
Now I know I’m not exactly target audience – I’m at least 20 years too old for that, but I just couldn’t find myself engaging with the film. Neither the human lead Fred O’Hare (played by a frankly irritating James Marsden) or the bunny protagonist E.B (voiced by Russell Brand) engendered any kind of positive response from me – it was all just a little far fetched for my liking.
It wasn’t just the characters I struggled to engage with either. Barring a few (and I really do mean few) laughs, I simply didn’t find the movie that funny. The most successful animated films manage to amuse both the children in the audience, with jokes targeted at both parties – ‘Hop’ struggled to amuse either, in fact the kids in the audience seemed more entertained by their fluffy bunny ears than the film itself.
For the kids, I can’t help feel that ‘Hop’ is a missed opportunity. The character could and should have been instantly loveable, but for some reason they missed the mark. Oh, and to go back to my original statement – every seat in the cinema was laden with a chocolate bunny from a well know chocolate maker. I rest my case.