Director Paul King is a longtime collaborator of comedy duo The Mighty Boosh, whose TV series and live tours he directed (and who have characteristically outré cameos here). Like ‘Boosh’, ‘Bunny & the Bull’ revels in a playfully expressionistic milieu of stylised settings and handmade effects, realised here through various kinds of animation that bring Michel Gondry to mind; a clockwork fairground and cutlery-derived bull stand out, as does the desk-based credit sequence. The film’s action also elides the distinctions between reality, memory and delusion in an impressively sustained manner more familiar to stage than screen.
Much to appreciate, then, but less to enjoy. Bunny and Stephen remain largely if differently unsympathetic during their Withnail-esque travels and travails, and there’s little sense of passion in the latter’s tentative romance with Eloisa. Like him, the movie remains mired in a mood of frustration and mopiness that works against both emotional engagement and big laughs, however consistently tickling the picture’s narrative schema and production design might be.