Looney Tunes Back in Action (PG)
Time Out saysThe Gremlins director is a true mischief-maker ready to subvert corporate Hollywood chores. The prospect of him getting his mitts on Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck is almost too perfect - given his penchant for rapid-fire surreal sight gags, Chuck Jones is probably his biggest influence. All the more disappointing, then, that this never really gels. Mixing live action with animation, in the manner of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the movie kicks off on the Warner Bros lot, where DJ Drake (Fraser) is a lowly security guard and Kate Houghton (Elfman) a studio exec powerful enough to send Daffy Duck packing. The action boomerangs through Las Vegas, Paris, outer space and Africa, as Daffy hunts for the Blue Monkey diamond with DJ's superspy dad (Dalton), and the planet's future hangs in the balance. In other words (and in marked contrast to the cleverly constructed Roger), the plot is nothing more than a feeble excuse to string together gags, set pieces and cameos from Wile E Coyote, Porky Pig and the gang. Dante is surely right to let his visual imagination run riot, but the scattershot Looney Tunes style doesn't easily stretch to feature length, and neither Daffy nor his human co-stars generate much sympathy - Steve Martin deserves special mention for a cosmically unfunny turn as the nefarious Mr Chairman. Watchable enough, it has two inspired sequences (at the Louvre and Area 52) to restore the flagging spirits.
Cast and crew
Timothy Dalton, Bob Bergen, Eric Goldberg, Joan Cusack, Kevin McCarthy, Heather Locklear, Roger Corman, Marc Lawrence, Ron Perlman, June Foray, Joe Alaskey, George Murdock, Mary Woronov, Bill McKinney, Bill Goldberg, Jenna Elfman, Bruce Lanoil, Brendan Fraser, Mel Blanc, Billy West, Jeff Glenn Bennett, Steve Martin