Monday, March 23, 2015

Movie Review: Hop

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: A few moments and the acting
Cons: Predictable story and fewer laughs than it tries for
The Bottom Line:
Attempts new classic
Doesn't hold enough magic
You can Hop on by

Hop Wants to be an Easter Classic, but It Doesn't Quite Pull It Off

When you ask someone about a holiday classic movie they love, odds are they'll name a Christmas movie.  It's not that others haven't tried to make a movies around other holidays; they just don't usually grab the same punch as the Christmas movies.  Hop is another example.  It wants to become a beloved Easter movie, but it's just average.

E.B. (voiced by Russell Brand) is destined to take over the job of Easter Bunny from his dad (voiced by Hugh Laurie).  There's just one problem - he wants to be a drummer and has no interest in candy or eggs.  Meanwhile, in Van Nuys, Fred O'Hare (James Marsden as a live actor) attempts to find a job he'll be excited about.  His unemployment has gotten to the point that his family holds an intervention for him.

When E.B. runs away to Hollywood to fulfill his dreams, his path crosses with Fred's.  While Fred tries to get rid of E.B. and figure out his life, E.B. worms him way further and further into Fred's life.  Will E.B. ruin Fred's chance at a job?  Will E.B. get to become a drummer?

I can see kids loving this movie.  The plot is pretty well put together, and the story advances quickly.  Not to mention that E.B. is incredibly cute.  The computer animation blends so well with the live actors that you forget that you are watching a blending of the two.

However, adults will find the movie slow.  The plot is fairly predictable, although a couple of things caught me by surprise.  The bigger problem for adults is that the comedy just doesn't work.  Instead of being funny, I found many of the scenes cringe worthy although a few made me laugh.  While kids may enjoy it, I think their parents will not.

I'm not going to lay the blame on the cast.  They try to make the material work.  Honestly, with the actors involved, I'm a bit surprised the film doesn't work better.  Other members of the cast include Kaley Cuoco, Gary Cole, Elizabeth Perkins, and Hank Azaria as the voice of the Easter Bunny's chief assistant.

I guess for me, as I watched, I couldn't help drawing comparisons to The Santa Clause.  The plots are really only similar in passing, but as I watched, it just made me want to watch the Christmas classic instead.

There is a good idea in Hopbut it ultimately just doesn't work as well as it could have.  I guess we'll just have to keep working to find that Easter classic.

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