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Looney Tunes: Back In Action

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Looney Tunes: Back In Action

Starring: Brendan Fraser, Jenna Elfman
Director: Joe Dante
Rated: PG
RunTime: 90 Minutes
Release Date: November 2003
Genres: Animation, Family, Kids

*Also starring: Timothy Dalton, Heather Locklear, Joe Alaskey, Steve Babiar, Bob Bergen, Lionel D. Carson, Roger Corman, Joan Cusack, Steve Martin

Review by Steve Rhodes
3 stars out of 4

A laugh-a-minute movie, LOONEY TUNES: BACK IN ACTION, by director Joe Dante (SMALL SOLDIERS), is a live-action picture with inserted cartoon characters la SPACE JAM. The plot has Kate Houghton (Jenna Elfman), Warner Brothers' VP of Comedy, firing the duck that plays Daffy Duck (voiced by Joe Alaskey). As she points out, the studio owns the name after all. Apparently this happens often since a passing tour bus announcer tells his passengers, "Folks, if you look to your left, you'll see Daffy Duck being forcibly removed from the lot again." Playing the part of the straight man in the movie, Elfman's casting just doesn't work. She also has the infuriating habit of never quite looking in the right spot when interacting with her animated co-stars.

Although the guys drawn with ink are definitely the best part of the movie, Brendan Fraser gives them a run for their money in a hilarious role as Bobby Delmont, a security guard and stuntman wannabe. His father (Timothy Dalton) is a super-secret agent whose cover is as an actor playing a super-secret agent in thrillers such as OLLY OLLY OXEN SPY. Keep your eye out for the movie posters. One of the best is the upcoming LETHAL WEAPON BABIES that will vastly expand the demographics of the audience for the LETHAL WEAPON series.

The dialog is great. One of the best lines is spoken after a tsunami of a disaster swamps the car in which Bugs Bunny (also voiced by Joe Alaskey) and Kate are riding. Using a fishing pole, Bugs declares, "Hey, what do you know? I found Nemo."

Letting it all hang out, Steve Martin gives his most over-the-top performance ever as the nefarious head of the Acme Corporation. Think of a very prissy Austin Powers with an especially bad hairdo and a really awful wardrobe, and you'll be close.

This very cute family film does throw some great bones to the adults in the audience. The best of these is a black-and-white sequence in which Bugs and Kate reenact the shower scene from PSYCHO. Don't worry. It's funny, not scary. The movie is a mild PG that is definitely for all ages. My only bone to pick with the film was that it's about ten minutes too long. And, speaking of time, I didn't even have enough time to tell you about Joan Cusack as Mother, the leader of the mysterious Area 52, or to describe the most imaginative incident of all when the toons go into the paintings at the Louvre.

LOONEY TUNES: BACK IN ACTION runs 1:30. The film is rated PG for "some mild language and innuendo" and would be acceptable for all ages

My son Jeffrey, age 14, gave it ***, saying that it was hilarious. He liked everything about it, especially Fraser's performance.

Copyright 2003 Steve Rhodes

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