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Looney Tunes Back in Action

The 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.

Release details

Rated: PG
Duration: 91 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Joe Dante
Screenwriter: Larry Doyle
Cast: Timothy Dalton
George Murdock
Mary Woronov
Bill McKinney
Bill Goldberg
Jenna Elfman
Bruce Lanoil
Brendan Fraser
Mel Blanc
Billy West
Jeff Glenn Bennett
Steve Martin
Joe Alaskey
June Foray
Bob Bergen
Eric Goldberg
Joan Cusack
Kevin McCarthy
Heather Locklear
Roger Corman
Marc Lawrence
Ron Perlman
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