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Cool World

video review out of 4 Movie Review: Cool World

Starring: Gabriel Byrne, Kim Basinger
Director: Ralph Bakshi
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 101 Minutes
Release Date: July 1992
Genres: Action, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

*Also starring: Brad Pitt, Michele Abrams, Deidre O'Connell, Carrie Hamilton, Frank Sinatra Jr.

Review by Dragan Antulov
½ star out of 4

Every now and then film viewers are looking forward to certain titles simply because it have something that most of the other films at the time lack. The author of this review must admit that he had expected much from COOL WORLD, 1992 part-animated fantasy directed by Ralph Bakshi. This movie was shot as a combination of live action and animation, the protagonist was an artist and, finally, the rating was PG-13 and thus indicated cartoon more adult and less formulaic in comparison with best known animated films of 1980s and 1990s.

Protagonist of COOL WORLD is Jack Deebs (played by Gabriel Byrne), comic book artist who leaves jail. His best work is "Cool World", comic book series about fantasy world populated by "doodles" and humanoids a.k.a. "noids". After few bizarre incidents Deebs would find out that Cool World indeed exists as a parallel reality and that one of their scientists found a way to transport characters into our world. Things get even more complicated for Deebs when he meets Holly Would (played by Kim Basinger), animated character in the form of sex bomb that wants to become real human being.

COOL WORLD is a huge disappointment, especially when we consider that the problem of interaction between live action and animated characters was solved by Zemeckis in WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT four years earlier. Bakshi, on the other hand, lacked ability to make this interaction credible or bound by some sort of "rules" that are supposed to exist in fantasy world. The result is complete mess - the tone of the film is schizophrenic, torn between Bakshi's attempts to make this film more adult (eroticism in this film is very explicit for Hollywood's cartoon) and commercial considerations that mandated more infantile approach. COOL WORLD also isn't helped by bad acting - Gabriel Byrne sleepwalks through his role, while Kim Basinger unsuccessfully tries to play femme fatale. Brad Pitt is, on the other hand, interesting in the role of Cool World's policeman, although his character also suffers from screenwriters disregard for logic. In the end, COOL WORLD could be best described as a film stuck between the worlds and thus unable to function in any of them - children would see it as too dark and incomprehensive, while the adults would have little understanding for its naivety and infantilism.

Copyright 2002 Dragan Antulov

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