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Hop

A movie directed by Tim Hill

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I Just Wanna Bang on the Drum All Day

  • Apr 5, 2011
Rating:
+3
Star Rating:


Hop
is no more or less than an innocent, colorful kid’s movie about talking bunnies and candy. If you’re reading this, you’re probably too old for it. How else to explain a movie that quite logically makes Easter Island the center of operations for the holiday of the same name? When the mouth of one of the famous monolithic moai statues opens, an elevator is revealed; at the bottom of the shaft is the entrance to the factory where all Easter candies are manufactured, from chocolate bunnies to marshmallow Peeps to Cadbury Cream Eggs to Hershey Kisses. In the center of this massive underground structure is an ornate fountain, where jelly beans of all colors cascade down like a waterfall. Outside of the imagination of Roald Dahl, you won’t find a better looking candy factory.
 
I’m forced to wonder, though, the source of all those jelly beans. A scene later in the film shows us that, in addition to the power of speech and the ability to deliver baskets of candy to the children of the world in one night, bunnies from Easter Island can defecate jelly beans. Do you mean to tell me that at the top of the fountain is a multitude of floppy-eared, cotton-tailed creatures with their butts in overdrive? Maybe the bunnies for this job are carrot intolerant. This would not be director Tim Hill’s first stab at overt scatological humor; his previous film, Alvin and the Chipmunks, featured a scene in which Simon, so as to not make Dave angry, picks up Theodore’s accident and puts it in his mouth, pretending it’s a raisin. I’m forced to wonder where Hill will take this next. Thank God Santa delivers toys instead of candy. Then again, where exactly do those toys come from? Do we know for sure that they’re built by elves up at the North Pole?

                                              
                                                
On Easter Island, we find a teenage rabbit named E.B. (voiced by Russell Brand), who doesn’t want to succeed his father (voiced by Hugh Laurie) as the Easter Bunny. Hoping to find success as the drummer of a rock ‘n’ roll band, E.B. runs away to Hollywood, although he quickly learns how tough it can be on your own. Wandering through Los Angeles, he’s almost run over by Fred O’Hare (James Marsden), an unemployed thirty-something slacker who still lives with his parents. After shacking up in a mansion, which Fred is conveniently caretaking in place of his sister (Kaley Cuoco), E.B. goes to audition for David Hasselhoff, who plays a caricature of himself as the host of a reality talent show. Hasselhoff isn’t fazed by a bunny that can talk – his best friend is a talking car. (Note: If you’re under the age of twenty, you’re officially not old enough to get that joke.) As all this is happening, E.B. desperately tries to avoid a trio of ninja-trained bunnies known as the Pink Berets, who have been sent by E.B.’s father. One of them has allergies and uses an inhaler.
 
I held no interest in this half of the plot, although I did find it kind of charming when Fred decided that he would like to his hand at being the Easter Bunny, if only because he saw E.B.’s father when he was a child. What I enjoyed a lot more was the uprising on Easter Island; a disgruntled chick named Carlos (voiced by Hank Azaria), tired of not getting the fair treatment E.B. got simply by being born, rallies all the other chicks and plots a coup d’état. It will ultimately be up to E.B. and Fred to save Easter.

                                              
                                                
Apart from the shots of the Easter candy factory, I was also impressed with the renderings of the animal characters, especially the bunnies; he may be a computer generated character, but with his puffy cheeks, big eyes, floppy ears, and fluffy tail, E.B. is undeniably adorable. With such effort put into the way he looks, it’s a shame his story wasn’t compelling in the slightest. Okay, so he wants to be drummer – admittedly, he’s very good at what he does – but in stories like this, all teenagers want to be drummers, don’t they? Perhaps I’m looking at this the wrong way. Is the message of the film that following your heart shouldn’t get in the way of taking on responsibility? Perhaps for E.B. For Fred, I’d say the message is that you can have your cake and eat it too. Not very realistic, but then again, nothing about the film is realistic, so I guess it doesn’t matter.
 
I think what surprised me the most about Hop is that the performances are far better than the material deserves. Brand gives an entertaining vocal performance, as do Laurie and Azaria – for the latter, envision a straight version of his Agador character from The Birdcage, and you’ve got it. Marsden plays probably the most likeable slacker in the history of kid’s movies, and he seems to be having a great deal of fun in the process. I think the real issue here is that the movie wasn’t made for me; it was made for those audiences ten and under, who will readily indulge in vivid animation, bright colors, and bunnies that poop candy. I personally think kids would be better served by films such as Mars Needs Moms, but considering how horribly it failed at the box office, perhaps I truly have no idea what I’m saying.

                                                   

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April 15, 2011
Too old for this movie?? never! im proud of my mysterious powers of inmaturaty lol! even though this is obviously marketed as a kids movie, hence the poop jokes cuz what kid dosent find thar hilarious? but i thought they did an ok job of following this new trend in kids movies of putting little jokes in for the parents as well that will go right over the little ones heads. i do agree with you on the points of a lack of a compelling storyline though, and it does get a little boring through the middle part.
 
April 05, 2011
actually I thought this film was pretty charming with some of it's stupidity. Yes it's moest definately a Tim Hill film and cliched but at the same time at least it was fun and looked like the cast was at least interested. Still I can see your point of view very well, very nice review
April 06, 2011
I didn't take this film seriously, and it seems you didn't, either. And that was exactly the right thing to do.
 
April 05, 2011
Yikes, I did not like this one at all, nice to see someone did though. Great review!
April 05, 2011
Thanks for the comment. I hardly liked this film (generally speaking, a rating of 2.5 stars and below is a film I'm not recommending). I did, however, keep in mind what audience it was intended for, and for them, it should do well. I also appreciated the visual effects, especially during the scenes on Easter Island. The candy factory was one of the best looking of its kind since Willy Wonka's in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
 
1
More Hop reviews
review by . April 12, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Holiday films seem to be making a break in the family market these days, and sometimes it works and other times it doesn't.  Easter is one of those border line holidays where I feel few film shave ventured, but this year Illumination Entertainment took the leap with Hop.  Although it will probably fall short in the eye of the adults in the theater, it is a fun film for young children about 8 and under.      Hop is a cute attempt at telling the story of how easter …
review by . April 21, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
            Here comes Peter Cottontail hopping down the bunny trail…I just pray that he’s not voiced by Russell Brand as he does in the movie Hop. Hop is by far the most unoriginal kid’s movie I have seen in recent memory.               Hop is the story of E.B. (voiced by Russell Brand) who is to be crowned the Easter Bunny; yes his name is a terrible pun it …
review by . April 04, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
        Hop is the story of a man named Fred O'Hare (James Marsden). He is young, but obviously has much more growing up to do than even his much younger sister does. During family dinner one night, Fred's mom, dad and two sisters prepared a speech for him, hoping that he would become a little more responsible and get a job, but Fred only ignores what they say. But when his sister, Sam (Kaley Cuoco), secretly finds him a job interview Fred's life drastically …
About the reviewer
Chris Pandolfi ()
Growing up a shy kid in a quiet suburb of Los Angeles, Chris Pandolfi knows all about the imagination. Pretend games were always the most fun for him, especially on the school playground; he and his … more
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