Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Documentary: 'Bang, Crash, Boom'
special effects documentary! Easter egg: Yosemite Sam with TNT.
Featurette: 'Behind The Toons' featurette hosted by Daffy Duck;
M Kids music video; Looney Tunes Out of Action - best scenes you've
ever seen; Looney Tunes short - 'Wizard of Ow'; Theatrical trailer.
THE child in every adult will probably feel like rushing to see
their favourite Looney Tunes characters back on the big screen,
but they may emerge afterwards asking the age-old question, whats
For while the film will certainly delight the very young, with
its childish mix of slapstick and destruction, the adults are
certain to feel a little sore at the number of missed opportunities.
And while certainly not as tedious as Space Jam, the mix of human
and cartoon interaction still fails to meet the standards set
by Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, lending it a somewhat lazy, half-hearted
Things start brightly enough, as Brendan Frasers studio
security guard, DJ Drake, gets into all manner of awkward situations
while trying to keep the recently-fired Daffy Duck under control,
but they quickly veer into hum-drum territory, when the plot begins
to concentrate on DJs actor father, Damien (Timothy Dalton),
a big screen super-spy, who gets kidnapped by mysterious assailants.
Hence, DJ must travel to Las Vegas, with Daffy in tow, in search
of the Blue Monkey Diamond, before the evil Mr Chairman (Steve
Martin), of the Acme Corporation, is able to use it for his own
Supporting and hindering DJ in equal
measure are Jenna Elfmans studio executive, Kate, who has
been dispatched to retrieve Daffy at any cost, and Bugs Bunny,
who is simply along for the ride.
Back in Action works best when trading on in-jokes and using
its cartoon characters to maximum effect, but its successes merely
serve to highlight how bad the rest of the film is, especially
when it relies on the humans for laughs.
Fraser, to be fair, comes off best, but Dalton looks embarrassed
to be trading off his James Bond persona, Elfman is mere eye-candy
and Martin is abysmal as the villain of the piece, delivering
the type of performance which has the effect of some fingernails
being scraped along a blackboard.
The story, too, isnt strong enough to sustain the length
of the movie, which leaves viewers counting down the minutes in
between the introduction of each new Looney Tune favourite.
Needless to say, segments involving Wile E. Coyote, The Tasmanian
Devil, and Yosemite Sam raise the biggest laughs, while a breakfast
meeting, on the back lot of the Warner Bros studio, in which the
animated Scooby-Do is seen to chastise Matthew Lillard for his
vocal interpretation of Shaggy, in the live-action remake, demonstrate
some nice touches.
A chase through The Louvre, in which the cartoon heroes duck
in and out of numerous paintings, is also great fun, both visually
and comically, as are some of the jokes quacked by
Daffy and Bugs.
But the film really shoots itself in the foot from the outset,
by serving up footage of one of the classic cartoon sequences
(involving the seasonal duck hunt) and seldom coming close to
matching it again.
All of which makes Back in Action a film that is strictly for
the children only.