Movie Review: Hop (2011)
Summary: The young Easter Bunny to-be heads to Hollywood to become a drummer in a rock n’ roll band where he meets Fred.
When the Easter bunny’s father (Hugh Laurie, voice) finds out that his son has fled, he sends an elite team of three ninja-trained bunnies called “The Pink Berets” to go out and retrieve him. But already in Hollywood, E.B. meets an out-of-work and non-career-minded “Fred O’Hare” (James Marsden) in a car accident and latches onto him.
Looking out for ninja bunnies while the two each try to pursue their dreams, the struggle will lead back home where a coup d’état is taking place on Easter Island, led by a jealous yellow chicken named “Carlos” (Hank Azaria, voice).
Directed by Tim Hill, the guy who gave us Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007), this surprisingly low-on-laughs film can be quite cute, and at some points, almost endearing, but manages to take its time getting to where it wants to go before losing most of its steam a little ways past the halfway point.
The humor is one problem while finding an ideal audience for the film is another; much of the humor tries to hit both kids and adults, but is only marginally successful in doing so, with some goofy side-stepping into bizarre and silly tangents that could well be called stupid.
Some irritating characters, like Fred’s continually nagging family, will not deter the film from entertaining kids between the ages of 4 and 11, but might get to the adults. But for the older crowd that consists of kids who grew up in the 70s and 80s, we have 80s icon David Hasselhoff appearing as himself, and comedienne Chelsea Handler as “Mrs. Beck,” one of Fred’s potential employers.
The film offers enough to satisfy the kids right up until the ending when the plot bites off more than it can chew in an Easter Island showdown that will at least succeed in making audiences hungry for Easter junk food. With some better writing, the film could have gone much further.
Two stars for the satisfactory, but stunted, Hop.
Grade: C- (2 stars)
Rated: PG (for some mild rude humor)
Director: Tim Hill
Starring: “Fred O’Hare” (James Marsden), “E.B.” (Russell Brand, voice), “E.B.’s Dad” (Hugh Laurie, voice), “Carlos / Phil” (Hank Azaria, voice), “Sam O’Hare” (Kaley Cuoco), “Mrs. Beck” (Chelsea Handler), “David Hasselhoff” (himself)
Genre: Animation / Comedy / Family / Fantasy