April 3, 2011
Review - " Hop " - (in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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Directed by: Tim Hill
Starring: James Marsden, Kaley Cuoco, Gary Cole,
Elizabeth Perkins, Tiffany Espensen, Dustin Ybarra, David
Hasselhoff, Chelsea Handler; Russell Brand, Hank Azaria,
Hugh Laurie, Hugh Heffner
What could have been a painfully childish animated Easter
romp is given a shot of deranged humour and an above-
average cast of voices and cameos. This makes it rather a
lot more fun than expected.
Fred (Marsden) is a slacker whose parents (Cole and
Perkins) finally force him out of the house. With some help
from his sister (Cuoco), he gets a job interview and a
mansion to housesit. But any promise is upended when he
meets a talking rabbit named EB (voiced by Brand), who
would rather be a rock drummer than follow his destiny as
the Easter Bunny. Meanwhile on Easter Island, a
disgruntled chick named Carlos (Azaria) is plotting a coup
against EB's father (Laurie).
That the story makes no sense at all hardly matters. At
least the script acknowledges as much and never tries to
wedge in a sappy moral or a corny romance. It also keeps
the humour light and goofy: juvenile without being childish.
The animation is efficient and never overly fussy, with the
Easter Island candy factory looking both delicious and a bit
sinister. And the interaction between the live-action and
animated characters is so strong that thoughts of a Roger
Rabbit sequel actually cross the mind.
There is plenty to enjoy about Universal’s Hop, which
features animated Easter Bunny shenanigans. Don’t
expect a great movie, because this innocuously pleasant
movie trails off without a point, but kids (including young children) and adults alike will probably get a kick out of Hop.
Marsden, an underrated and versatile actor, plays an unemployed adult still living at his parents’ house. When the Easter
Bunny-to-be pops up, having been properly introduced as an aspiring drummer at his home on Easter Island, the pair try to
simultaneously achieve their goals, with the rabbit auditioning for David Hasselhoff after jamming the blues and Marsden’s
job-seeker trying to fulfill what he calls his destiny. It doesn’t entirely work, with plotting so loose that the ending falls flat,
and Hop would have been better had the writer(s) stuck with the theme that humans make the best Easter Bunny, but with a
colorful candy factory, humor at the expense of the fascist TSA, and a proletarian villain right out of a Madison, Wisconsin
(or, today, central London) union protest, Hop lays a few Easter eggs.