Tuesday, October 5, 2010

2003 - LOONEY TUNES BACK IN ACTION, very disappointing

An attempt by the director Joe Dante and the writer Larry Doyle to reintroduce the famous Warner Bros. cartoon characters fails.  These two men would have seemed like the right individuals to make this film.  Dante had a love of old genre films and clearly knew the characters.  Doyle is a writer who had worked on The Simpsons and Beavis and Butthead

The biggest problem with the film beside the lack of story and actual funny situations, the failure to realize that these hyper animated cartoon characters probably played best in their cartoon short six minute format.  A ninety minute film with all this frantic action is more exhausting than entertaining. The film also lacked actual funny situations and an identifiable story to hang the whole mess on.   

The cast is another issue.  Brandon Fraser as the thick headed security guard was sort of funny, but inconsequential actor Jenna Elfman was completely miscast as the female lead.  Elfman actually has a rather hard looking face and isn't very funny which is odd considering she got her big break playing in TV sitcoms.  Steve Martin as the president of the ACME corporation falls back on the "wild and crazy"  stuff he did on Saturday Night Live years ago.  In this film he's more stupid than funny.

As for the Looney Tunes characters,  their integration into the live action seems way off,  they don't mix into this film at all. The old Disney films had been adding animated characters to their films for some time and they were a lot more skillful at blending live action and animation that this film. 

Its a Joe Dante film so its fun for a film buff to watch all of his little jokes.  The Robot Monster, the Daleks from Dr. Who, and Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet.  Some of the live action characters include, Vernon Welles, the "Wez" from The Road Warrior as one of Steve Martin's henchmen.  Roger Corman shows up directing a Batman film and a character actor named Marc Lawrence who is about as inside as you can get is one of the board members of the ACME corporation.  All these little inside jokes don't really mean anything if the film isn't any good.

Another disappointing film from Joe Dante.

91 frantic frenzied minutes.

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