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HOP, 2011
Movie Reviews!

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HOP, 2011 MOVIEHOP, 2011
Movie Reviews

Directed by Tim Hill

Starring: Russell Brand, James Marsden, Elizabeth Perkins, James Marsden, Kaley Cuoco, Chelsea Handler, Nick Drago, Tiffany Espensen

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Review by Joshua Starnes

SYNOPSIS:

An experimental government program sends soldier Colter Stevens (Gyllenhaal) back in time, where he wakes up in the body of a commuter who witnesses a train bombing. Presented with just 8 minutes to figure out who is responsible, his mission is further complicated by his feelings for a fellow passenger (Monaghan).

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REVIEW:

Being the Easter Bunny is a big job; you've got to make sure the candy is laid out every night for the roughly 35% of the world who identify as Christians, and if you've got time you've got to hide some eggs, too.

That's a big job for just one rabbit, even if he's got a support team of magic elves, er, chicks, so it's no wonder young E.B. (Russell Brand) wants nothing to do with it. He'd rather be a drummer in a rock band. So like 20 year old Leporidae (who haven't died of extreme old age), when his dad won't listen to him about his dreams he heads out on his own to the place where dreams come true: Hollywood.

Even Disney doesn't seem to have the stomach for any more "The Santa Clause" films, but that hasn't stopped director Tim Hill ("Alvin and the Chipmunks") or his cohorts from picking up the slack with their own aggressively annoying holiday-themed kids film.

Although 'theme'd' is an extremely loose descriptor in "Hop's" case as—except for one genuinely funny joke about trying to crack the Chinese market—the creators have to more or less ignore anything about Easter not having specifically to do with the Easter Bunny. In their place we get a lot of transliterated Christmas iconography—the Easter Bunny has a giant egg shaped sleigh pulled by flying chicks, he has one night to make all his candy deliveries, that sort of thing—so that it can fit in a lot of the same holiday themed jokes these kinds of movies have always traded on.

Not that it effects the plot one way or another. Baring a fair number of pretty silly bunny and Easter visual gags thrown into the mix (E.B. lives on Easter Island, he tries to find a place to stay at the Playboy Mansion because bunnies are welcome there) all the movie really needs is a reason to have a talking bunny in the real world, but the way the filmmakers have chosen is particularly silly and we do get stuck listening to a lot of it.

Because talking bunny in the real world is what we get when E.B. lands in the lap of Fred (James Marsden), a twenty-something going on thirty-something who's still living at home, trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life. Faced with a magical talking Easter Bunny who doesn't really want the job Fred realizes he's discovered his true calling—to become the Easter Bunny himself.

That makes about as much sense in the film as it sounds on paper and serves mainly to introduce some training montages as Fred tries to get in shape for his new 'job' in the one thing "Hop" is any good at—padding its running length.

It is an animated kid's film so it's not exactly supposed to make sense; it's just supposed to be cute and funny to its target audience. Except the people making it only have any real idea how to accomplish one of those goals. Outside of anything having to do with factory manager chick Carlos (Hank Azaria) and his plot to take over Easter most of the jokes aren't going to be particularly funny to the target audience, as it spends much of its time dealing with Fred's refusal to leave home and E.B.'s desire to audition for David Hasselhoff's TV talent show. I'm not sure how many 8 year olds actually watch enough "You've Got Talent" to get that joke, but I'd be willing to bet it's not many.

And that abut sums "Hop" up in total. As a film meant to entertain kids that age, it's a failure about half the time; as something meant to entertain everyone the family; it's a failure all the time.

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