|Looney Tunes - Back in Action
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Live Action Adventure Comedy. Set in a live-action world in which Warner Bros.' beloved assortment of irreverent animated entertainers interact with human characters for maximum comic effect, the story unfolds on the Studio backlot and careens all over the map in time-honored Looney Tunes style. Our celluloid heroes embark on a hilarious adventure that takes them from Hollywood to Las Vegas, Paris and the jungles of Africa in search of Fraser's character's missing father and the mythical Blue Monkey Diamond.
At the peak of Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck lead Elmer Fudd on a wild pursuit through famous paintings hanging in the Louvre, their animated selves absorbing the painting styles of Salvador Dali, Georges Seurat, Toulouse Lautrec, and others. That sequence manages to recapture the anarchic spirit of Warner Bros.' classic cartoons; unfortunately, not much else in this labored movie does. Technically, the merging of live actors and cartoon characters is impressive, as Brendan Fraser and Jenna Elfman team up with Bugs and Daffy to save the world by keeping a magical diamond out of the hands of the evil Acme Corporation, headed by a nerdy, prancing Steve Martin. Just about every Warner Bros. character makes an appearance, as do Timothy Dalton, Heather Locklear, and the ever-dependable comic delight of Joan Cusack (In and Out, School of Rock). --Bret Fetzer
- This is it folks!
"Dynamite?" yells Jenna Elfman halfway through this film "Who has dynamite?". "Welcome to my world" comes Daffy Duck's reply. Yes indeed, welcome to the world of the Looney Tunes.
This film has been unfairly compared with Who Framed Roger Rabbit and, although not in that league at all, it has enough comedy and inventiveness to stand as a semi-classic in it's own right. At least it's not Space Jam.
I'm a firm believer that Bugs and co. can quite easily carry their own movie without the help of non-toons, but until then this'll do. For a Looney Tune fan such as myself there are plenty of character cameos and in-jokes to warrent several repeat viewings just to catch them all. The same goes for general movie fans (Roger Corman directs Warner's new Batman movie!?). Most, if not quite all, of the Looney Tune family get screen time with Daffy coming away with the lion's share. Other characters that are well served by the script are Yosemite Sam, Wile E. Coyote and Marvin the Martian leaving the likes of Tweety, Sylvester, Taz and Elmer somewhat under-used - still, it's only a 90 minute movie. We also have a wonderful cameo from a suitably flat-looking Scooby and Shaggy - a joke against classic-versus-TV-animation for the keen-eyed!
A real high-light is the treatment that 'political correctness' gets in the script. We see Porky Pig and Speedy Gonzalez bemoaning P.C. attitudes (stutterers and racial stereotypes being somewhat taboo now) and, at one point, one of Sam's henchmen worrying that if he does indeed throw TNT out of the window "someone might get hurt". Sam's guns have been taken from him (although he's still allowed a cannon!) but at least Elmer Fudd has been allowed to keep his trusty rifle. Bugs Bunny's love of cross-dressing also gets questioned!
As with all of the other reviews for this film, I must mention the Louvre scene - Bugs, Daffy and Elmer running through a series of classic paintings. The DVD release allows a little more appreciation of this whole sequence with the use of freeze-frame. Other set-pieces that hit the spot are the Area-52 scenes (with lots of sci-fi fan pleasing cameos from classic aliens) and space-set climax.
The human actors are passable. Frazer and Elfman are not so bland as to be completely up-staged by the toons and Timothy Dalton proves he has a sense of humour by parodying his 007 character. I seem to be one of the few people who enjoyed Steve Martin's performance. Playing it ridiculously OTT, he is as close to a human-toon as possible - I think it works.
Overall, the script is funny enough although the 'plot' is incidental, the animation is excellent and interacts well, if not quite enough, with the real-world and, most importantly, all of the characters stay in character. But, as I said at the beginning, this ain't no Space Jam. Thankfully....more info
- They Did It!
Amazingly, "Looney Tunes - Back in Action" manages to capture the zany, "we'll-make-fun-of-ANYTHING" humor of the classic cartoons. It's got the wisecracks and the anarchy. There are setpieces (the chase through the Louvre is a classic), kidding of pc sensitivities (such as why Yosemite Sam's henchmen won't throw the dynamite out the window during a car chase through Las Vegas), a great jab at movie product placement (kudos to the company that let themselves be used for this!), jokes about classic horror films ("Them!" and "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" for two) and so on. The whole cast of toons is on hand, seamlessly combined with live actors (even the casting is a joke sometimes -- check out the Acme board of directors). Don't ask if the plot makes sense (it doesn't); just sit back and laugh....more info
- GREAT MOVIE FOR THE YOUNG FRASER FANS!
Great animation and a real hoot for the Brendan Fraser fans - my 7year old is in LOVE! She has a number of his movies and she's watched this one more in the short 10 days she's had it than any of the others...more info
- One of the greatest movies ever!
This is one of the few animated movies that can compare with Pixar! For a Looney Tunes fan like me, it doesn't get much better than this.
BUGS BUNNY-- Bugs wasn't surprised much in this film, it looked as though he had the whole the thing planned. The only time he really was caught unexpected was when he was put in a suit in the spy car. Bugs singing: "VIVA LAS VEGAS" is hilarious.
DAFFY DUCK-- Great! Rather than trying to imitate Chuck Jones' Daffy like every other show with Daffy does (not that that's bad, I LOVE Chuck Jones) it appears rather like it was inspired by Bob Clampett.
D.J.-- Played by Brendan Fraiser, D.J. is quite likable. It's hilarious when D.J. talks about how he was in the mummy movies more than Brendan Fraiser.
KATE-- Rather than goofy, Kate is rather no-nonsense. But she's still funny.
THE EVIL LEADER OF ACME-- Steve Martin is hysterical on this, he's as nutty as humans come.
There are many other supporting characters, like: Elmer Fudd, Marvin the Martian, Tweety, Sylvester, Granny, The Tasmanian Devil, Wile E. Coyote, Foghorn Leghorn, The Warner Bros. and Yosemite Sam. And there are hundreds of cameos, like: Beaky the Buzzard, Pepe Le Pew, Ham, Ex, Porky, Speedy Gonzalas, Egghead, Sam Sheepdog, Ralph Wolf, Road Runner, Batman, an Instant Martian, Foghorn's Dog Arch-Enemy, the Russian Dog (on HARE RIBBIN') and Buddy! This beats Space Jam by a long-shot.
I just can't comprehend the fact that people would rather watch a movie as bad as Shrek instead of a great movie like this. ...more info
- Like Space Jam? You'll Love Back In Action!
Brandon Frazer and Jenna Elfman's great onscreen chemistry and the brilliant use of the Looney Tunes characters makes this a great film for the entire family. Besides scenes with just about every Looney Tune character (including short scenes with PepeLe Pew, Beaky Buzzard and Mad Scientist) the film is packed with human stars (Steve Martin, Heather Locklear, Joan Cusack) and has several cameo appearances including Michael Jordan, Jeff Gordon and Matthew Lillard who gets a dressing down by cartoon Shaggy because he didn't like his portrayal in the human Scooby-Doo (Widescreen Edition) movie.
Although this movie came out 5 years ago, I just saw it recently for the first time and have watched it a couple more times since and I find more in it every time I view it (there are over 20 Looney Tune characters in the movie). My 5 year old daughter loves it as does my wife. As well as being loaded with stars there are parodies of scenes from classic movies such as the Psycho (Special Edition) (Universal Legacy Series) shower scene (but its OK for kids and even shows how they used Hershey's Chocolate Syrup 2 count for special effects) and 007's A View To A Kill - 2-Disc Ultimate Edition Eiffel Tower chase (heck, ex 007 Timothy Dalton is even in the film!) as well as characters from other movies and TV shows such as Robbie the Robot and monsters you'll recognize from B sci-fi flicks. Even Kevin McCarthy star of the original 1950's Invasion of the Body Snatchers has a cameo, in Black and White, carrying a POD, lol.
This is a great family movie that with lots of action and laughs. Adults will have a trip down memory lane seeing cartoon characters they have haven't seen in years. ...more info
- Quite frankly, the BEST MOVIE EVER MADE!!
Well, it took over 4 years but I finally have a new best movie. And not only that but it's the funniest movie ever also. It's quite possible you'll die of oxygen deficiency, you'll be laughing so hard.
Taking place in what is essentially the same universe as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the movie begins with both Daffy Duck and DJ Drake (Brendan Fraser, who also plays himself as well as Taz) getting kicked off the Warner Brothers lot at the same time. Daffy follows Fraser home only for both of them to make the astonishing discovery that Brendan's movie star dad Damian Drake (Timothy Dalton, who doesn't appear to have aged a day since License to Kill) is a REAL secret agent as well as playing one in the movies. He's been kidnapped by the Chairman of the evil Acme corporation in an attempt to find a mysterious diamond called the Blue Monkey and Brendan and Daffy team up to rescue him.
But the Warner Brothers soon realize that without Daffy the Bugs Bunny cartoons are not worth anything. So Bugs and the Head of Animated Comedy (Jenna Elfman) go looking for him, inadvertently getting dragged into the Blue Monkey plot.
It's not only a wild collection of increasingly insane set-pieces. Looney Tunes Back In Action is quite possibly the most intelligent and brilliantly crafted film of 2003.It's devastating that cheap nonsense such as Scary Movie 3 makes over $100 million while Looney Tunes barely scrapes $20 million. I blame the marketing.
The trailer for this film was absolutely awful. And even I thought it looked really bad. Only my dedication to the Looney Tunes made me see it out of obligation. Thank God I didn't judge it by the trailer. I'm assuming most of the potential audience did. Plus it did have to go up against stiff holiday competition such as Return of the King and Elf (!). Both of those movies had stronger marketing campaigns which is the only explanation I can offer for Elf doing so well.
A few critics blasted Looney Tunes for being no more than an exersize in boosting sales for the Warner Brothers catalogue of characters. This is in no way true. While it's true that merchandise follows this movie (as does every family film) I simply do not see how it's pure exploitation. Space Jam was pure exploitation and an unashamed merchandise excuse. Back in Action fixes everything that went wrong with Space Jam. So much so that Joe Dante nicknamed this the 'Anti-Space Jam movie'. Back in Action is good, old-fashioned Looney Tunes mayhem.
I can't think of a more perfect director for this movie. Joe Dante is the most underappreciated director in recent history. It's obvious from his previous movies that he just loves the Looney Tunes and Back In Action surpasses even Gremlins 2 in terms out wall to wall madness (and correct me if I am wrong, but didn't the Looney Tunes run riot in that movie too). This is his most perfect movie to date and I am sure it will be appreciated by a wider audience once it hits DVD.
The best thing about this movie? The fact that Daffy Duck gets the most amount of screen time. And his outrageous, anarchic antics never fail to amuse. At one point Daffy and Bugs are chased by Elmer Fudd through a bunch of paintings in the Louvre art museum. It's a crazy sequence in which you simply cannot deny the movie's genius.
The merging of live action and animation is seamless. It looks like Brendan Fraser and Daffy really are acting together (and for all we know, they are). Their chemistry is perfect and when Bugs joins the team there's so much going on that just one viewing isn't enough.
There's hundreds of in-jokes (as you would expect from a Joe Dante movie) and none of them are of the cheap, post-modern kind. Looney Tunes Back In Action has more class and more genius than any other comedy in the past few years. Even Steve Martin's performance as the man-child chairman of the Acme Corporation is a return to his edgier roles in movies like The Jerk and is far better than the 'family man' trash he's been doing for the past 10 years. He's practically an animation himself in this wonderful movie that's bursting at the seams with madness....more info
I've watched this three times over the past week with my daughter. We laugh harder every time. It has some of the anarchy of the old Looney Tunes shorts. At the price, you can't go wrong....more info
- The Best
I saw this movie with a friend of mine two days after the movie's initial release and it is the greatest movie and i recomend it to all you looney tune fans out there.
- simple fun guys! It's bugs and daffy!
OK guys, this was not meant to be Citizen Kane. Simply put, this is just a silly, fun movie. Like any Looney Tunes project, they throw out a ton of gags, and some work and some don't. The movie is probably best for those of us who grew up watching Bugs and Daffy and company, to enjoy some nostalgic fun. A lot of the humor will be lost on the kids, particularly as the movie and its actors make fun of themselves and political correctness. Star Brendan Fraser leads the way, making fun of that actor named Brendan Fraser. The tunes characters get in on it, with an updated twist. Mindful of all the complaints about the violence in the cartoons, one of the bad guys refuses to throw dynamite that is about to explode, worrying that he will be sending the wrong message to children. Porky and Speedy Gonzalez are having lunch, bemoaning what political correctness has done to their careers. Jenna Elfman (Dharma from Dharma and Greg) has a hard time adjusting to the tunes, at one point lamenting "who carries dynamite?!?!" At one point, Bugs does the thing of transforming himself into the heavily made-up woman. Jenna chides Bugs that it was funny back when, but was distrubing now. That air of what the characters are not allowed to do or to be in these super-sensitive times is ever-present. Still, they do manage to create lots of obvious gags and some of the adult humor the toons were known for (e.g., a mad chase through the paitings in the Lourve, where Elmer is transformed into The Scream) and where the characters take on roles and qualities from the impressionists and surrealists. Joan Cusak makes her inevitable and always excellent appearance. Some fun, some nostalgia, some making fun of themselves and what society has become. Not bad for a film based around the looney tunes and the evil of the Acme coroporation (headed by great comic and under-appreciated novelist, Steve Martin)....more info
- Greatest movie
I thought looney tunes back in action was terrific. It atomatically rated five stars in my book. A must see for all brendon fraser and looney tune fans. Was infinitelly funny, with plenty of good humor and action to go around....more info
- fairly dismal effort
I bow to no one in my love and admiration for those classic Warner Brothers cartoons of the 1940`s and 1950`s. Like so many of my generation, I was virtually raised on these works from infancy on up. Yet, for those of us who are diehard aficionados, "Looney Tunes: Back in Action" is a decidedly depressing experience, proving, once again, that when it comes to revisiting one's childhood, a person truly can't go home again.
This is not, of course, a re-visitation in its purest form, since "Back in Action," like 1996`s "Space Jam," is actually a modernized hybrid combining live action with animation. And that, perhaps, is the single greatest problem with this film. Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, the Road Runner and the rest of the gang clearly feel more at home in their own two-dimensional world in which the laws of nature have no jurisdiction. Yank them out of that context and stick them into the "real world" with a bunch of overacting humans and their unique charm begins to drain away and dissipate. Unfortunately, both the cartoon characters and the humans with whom they are interacting are stuck with a dreary, largely unfunny script that substitutes pandemonium and movement for cleverness and wit (qualities the original cartoons had in abundance). The spy tale writer Larry Doyle has come up with is stultifying in its stupidity and reminds us of just why the Warner Brother originals, which were masterpieces of minimalist storytelling, ran for ten or fifteen minutes and no longer. Expanding the story to almost ten times that length stretches the already flimsy material far past the breaking point.
There are a few moments of inspired fun, such as when Bugs and Daffy, followed by an irate Elmer Fudd, jump in and out of art masterpieces in the Louvre, wreaking havoc as they go, or when our intrepid band of heroes encounters a secret Area 51-type government project in the desert inhabited by a coterie of creatures from 1950`s "B" movie classics. In fact, the movie has quite a bit of fun with "in" movie references that adults are far more likely to get than the children who clearly make up the bulk of this movie's audience. But those moments of inspiration are few and far between, and most of the time we are stuck in a fairly dismal comedy overall. The blending of live action and animation, under the guidance of director Joe Dante, is pretty much state-of-the-art, though these particular cartoon characters have more charm when they are two, rather than three, dimensional in form.
Brendan Fraser, as a stunt man who goes in search of his kidnapped father with Bugs and Daffy along for the ride, makes an appealing hero, although the usually likable Jenna Elfman succeeds mainly in being annoying. Timothy Dalton has a nothing part as Fraser's dad, a legendary movie actor who turns out to be a spy off screen as well as on. Heather Locklear, Joan Cusack, Roger Corman, and Kevin McCarthy also make brief appearances, but the single worst job of acting is turned in by an overwrought and over-wound Steve Martin, who as the diabolical head of the Acme Corporation, delivers a ham handed performance of monumental badness.
Lovers of The WB cartoons had best stick with the originals.
- Looney fun
I have given this film 4 stars because my six-year-old son loves it, and I assume that's the age group it's aimed at. Brendon Fraser plays a security guard at Warner Brothers Studios who gets sacked, at the same time as a bossy female executive sacks Daffy Duck. Fraser and Daffy join forces to find Fraser's dad (Timothy Dalton) a film star who plays a spy who is actually a spy in real life. He has been kidnapped by a mad scientist (Steve Martin) who wants to find the Blue Daimond, which has magical powers. Fraser and Daffy have to get to the Blue Diamond before Martin does. also Bugs Bunny is trying to get Daffy back to the studios. The mixture of live action and cartoon characters will amuse children, and if you are a big Looney Tunes fan you should love it (I'm more partial to Tom and Jerry myself). On the other hand, if your main interest int he film was in the presence of Timothy Dalton, you may notice that there's not a lot of him in it really. Never mind, the kids will love it....more info
- "Termite Terrace" with unlimited budget?
What might have happened if, back in the day, the heads at WB had let the cartoon dept make a full feature, with no restrictions? They could very well have come up with something like "Back In Action", lampooning everything imaginable, with an outlandish plot not unlike Marvin the Martian's attempts to blow up the Earth.
Of course, technology of the time would have kept them from effectively blending humans in the cartoon world so seamlessly, so they would have made up new characters instead. Can you imagine what Steve Martin's villainous character would have been? Well... ya hafta employ humans somewhere these days... :)
This was a heckuva movie, a major improvement on Space Jam, and maybe better than Roger Rabbit. Can't wait for the DVD!...more info
- Good (not Great) Looney Tunes Movie
After watching Space Jam with my 6-year old daughter, I thought that this movie might be fun. Although it has a few laughs, it is not a great movie. My daughter seemed to lose interest pretty quickly. Space Jam was much more entertaining for both of us. It seemed like there was too much plot getting in the way of the fun with this movie. But, it is always nice to see the Looney Tunes gang. I miss watching Bugs and Daffy every afternoon. Oh, those were the good old days....more info
- Cartoon in tune
I was worried this film would fall apart; now, after finishing it. I saw a couple jokes that could have been better. A few things slightly predictable, but I thought it was excellent. Seriously, when you're putting every Looney Tune into a live film: (thank God without rubber masks!) ...there's a lot of high exceptions and low exceptions. I think this movie did just about as well as it could possibly do. Going from live comedy to Looney Tune insanity and back for both at once. I give it Two Dynamites Up....more info