DIRECTOR: Joe Dante
May Contain Spoilers and Mild Language
In 2003, I wasn’t impressed with the very idea of this movie. Already established as a fan of the original shorts from the 1930’s to the 1960’s, this crazy and childish spoof was too immature for me. Lucky, in the twelve years which have passed, I have had the rod surgically removed from my arse and lighted up somewhat.
Now, well into my 30’s and quite happy to take films as I find them and judge them accordingly rather than dismissing them on the basis that they not “legitimate”, I can now see that Joe Dante, of Gremlins (1984) fame has made an almost perfect interpretation of the madcap antics of the Looney Tunes characters!
But Dante’s tastes also run in to 1950’s sci-fi as he demonstrated in the convention scene in Gremlins, but here he goes to town, even more so than in the crazy and madcap Gremlins 2: A New Batch (1990). The comedy is slick and fast with sight gags and stunt casting which will only really appeal to an older and/or more movie savvy audience as well as the timeless antics of the animated characters, led by the Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.
The cast is interesting too, not only because of its two leads, Brendan Fraser and Jenna Elfman, whilst both being more than capable, have fallen off the A-list in the decade since, but Steve Martin as the over the top Acme CEO is on top comic form and the likes of Ron Pearlman turning up in an earlier role before he would break in to the mainstream with Hellboy (2005) was great as always.
Overall, Dante has managed to capture the essence and humour of the Looney Tunes gang, whilst playing as many in jokes and spoof cards as possible in the 95 minute runtime, in a manner not dis-similar to Gremlins 2. Turn your brain off, chill out and enjoy if for what it is and you should do just that. Though I must finish by pointing that this is NO Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), but not many films are.