Back in Action
November 14, 2003
A movie that is intended to be more in the tradition of Who Framed Roger Rabbit than Space Jam, Looney Tunes: Back in Action will be a combination of live action and animation just like those predecessors. In fact, director Joe Dante goes so far as to call it the antithesis of Space Jam, a movie he feels was a travesty to its animated characters. Since the underrated Dante is definitely a director with edge, look for the sharpness of characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Porky Pig to return with a vengeance.
The story centers around a well-loved WB gag, Daffy Duck’s jealousy of Bugs. The two work together at a movie studio, and when Daffy lobbies for a star-making turn in a comedy that is supposed to feature Bugs, the exec orders him ejected from the lot.
Daffy then teams up with a recently-fired stuntman and the two get involved in an adventure. It seems the stuntman’s father was a secret spy on the search for a mythical blue diamond. Daffy goes along with his new friend, but in the meantime, the studio decides they want him back and Bugs and a young studio exec have to set out to try to find the duck and bring him back. The groups journey over several continents and battle an evil corporate overlord to find the desperately sought diamond.
The three primary human roles in the film require a delicate touch since blue screen performances and interaction with co-stars who aren’t really there is very difficult. To that end, the stuntman will be played by Brendan Fraser, a talented actor who is rarely recognized for his strong performances in movies such as Gods and Monsters and The Quiet American. The adorable and quirky Jenna Elfman will portray the young studio exec, and Steve Martin, who is always delicious in these types of roles, plays the villain. Other featured performers will include Heather Locklear, Timothy Dalton, Joan Cusack and the WWE wrestler Goldberg.
With a screenplay from Simpsons writer Larry Doyle, the hope would be that Looney Tunes: Back in Action would have a solid foundation, but there are varying reports as to the story’s quality (also, Doyle’s Simpsons episodes aren’t exactly among the very best). Still, Joe Dante has proven in the past to have a wicked sense of humor that fits perfectly with the tone of these classic characters. Here’s hoping that the newest Looney Tunes flick is a load of fun for kids of all ages. (Kim Hollis/BOP)
Comparison films for Looney Tunes: Back in Action
|Stuart Little 2
|Gremlins 2:The New Batch
|James and the Giant Peach
|Nightmare Before Christmas, The