Hop (G)

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Review byMatthew Turner31/03/2011

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 95 mins

Impressively animated, nicely written and gently amusing family comedy, enlivened by a terrific central performance from James Marsden and a weirdly note-perfect vocal effort from Russell Brand.

What's it all about?
Directed by Tim Hill (who made Alvin and the Chipmunks, so he has form for this sort of thing), Hop stars James Marsden as Fred O'Hare, a slacker whose parents (Gary Cole and Elizabeth Perkins) and sisters (Kaley Cuoco and Tiffany Espensen as Sam and Alex) are desperate for him to move out of the house and find a job. Sam finds Fred a mansion to house-sit but on his way there, his life is turned upside down when he nearly hits talking rabbit EB (Russell Brand) with his car and EB decides to join him in the mansion.

Having seen the Easter Bunny as a child, Fred is delighted to discover that EB is actually the Easter Bunny-in-waiting, only he's actually running away from his destiny and has come to Hollywood to become a rock drummer. Meanwhile, back on Easter Island, disgruntled work chick Carlos (Hank Azaria) is planning to oust EB's Easter Bunny father (Hugh Laurie) in a coup d'etat.

The Good
Marsden is excellent as Fred, delivering a likeable comic performance without resorting to mugging or over doing it. Similarly, though it might sound like a terrible idea on paper, Russell Brand turns out to be weirdly perfect for EB (essentially playing him exactly like his own comic persona) and even earns himself an actual onscreen cameo for his efforts.

The script is gently amusing throughout and at least has an interesting twist on the Santa Clause plot, in that Fred is actually thrilled at the thought of becoming the Easter Bunny rather than learning Important Life Lessons by having it forced upon him. Brand's dialogue is also frequently funny, to the point where you suspect he was allowed to ad-lib quite a bit and there's strong comic support from Cuoco, Azaria and Laurie as well as a crowd-pleasing (well, Hasselhoff-fan pleasing) cameo from David Hasselhoff as himself.

The Equally Good
The animation is extremely well done throughout too, both in terms of interaction and realism – there's not a single dodgy-looking CGI moment, for example. If anything, the film's only problem is that it skimps a bit on inventive action sequences, such as introducing The Pink Berets (a team of crack soldier bunnies) and then not doing anything interesting with them.

Worth seeing?
Hop is an enjoyable family comedy that should appeal to kids and pleasantly surprise any dragged-along adults. Worth seeing.

Film Trailer

Hop (G)
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Content updated: 21/01/2019 00:27

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