An all-star cast (what else can you call Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck?) lead the Warner Brothers characters on another zany adventure and yet again this one is full of hilarious spoofs and cameos that will make any fun-loving adult giggle.
It's interesting how, if one sits down and watches the crap that kids are subjected to these days (namely all of those poorly-animated CGI cartoons), we can't stand it, but when we watch something from our childhood, we can still take joy from seeing Wile E. Coyote attempt to kill the Roadrunner (not to mention realize just how violent and adult-oriented some of the jokes are). Are these older cartoons better than what is on television today? Most likely, but there's just something about returning to my childhood that made me thoroughly enjoy Looney Tunes: Back in Actions.
This time around, Brendan Frasier plays a Warner Brothers security guard who gets teamed up with a company executive (Jenna Elfman) - as well as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck - to save the day from the evil Acme corporation and its leader, Mr. Chairman (Steve Martin). He also has to save his father, the great action hero Damien Drake, who turns out to be a real spy; it's only fitting that James Bond alum Timothy Dalton got the role.
The plot makes little sense and is as random as you'd expect from a Looney Tune movie, but the plot is not what matters. Looney Tunes: Back in Action excels through the little things, mainly pokes at celebrities and various cameos. The first half hour is the funniest act as much of the time is spent on the Warner Brothers lot; we get to see Matthew Lillard arguing with a ferocious, off-camera Scooby Doo, Porky Pig complaining about how Warner executives told him he isn't funny anymore after they ordered him to get rid of his stutter, and Speedy Gonzalez talking about political correctness. DJ Drake (played by Fraser) is also a stuntman and claims that he was in The Mummy and The Mummy Returns more than Brendan Fraser was; he also crashes the Batmobile during filming.
The movie is inconsistent at times, as there are segments that really aren't funny. Steve Martin was a good choice for the villain, but the movie really fails to take advantage of his comic skills. Heather Locklear's cameo as a hot super spy really falls flat on its face, and near the end, as the film focuses on saving the world (not being funny), it really struggles - of course, these flaws are relatively minor and kids will love it anyway.
One of my favorite parts takes place in the Louvre, as Bugs and Daffy are chased by Elmer Fudd through several of the museum's historical paintings. They go into Edvard Munch's "The Scream" and take on that painting's unique style and, probably funniest, they go into - forgive my lack of art knowledge - that painting where all of the clocks are drooping over objects. Fudd's rifle goes limp, as do the limbs of Bugs and Daffy. Absolutely hilarious!
Looney Tunes: Back in Action does have some elements that are strictly for kids, but it has plenty for parents and non-parents to feast on. It isn't the most exceptional cartoon hybrid I've seen to date, but it's still very entertaining.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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