Growing up during the dawn of time, as I did, I recall how incredibly excited I used to get over holiday specials. Christmas, of course, was the bonanza season of holiday specials, but Easter had a couple. We’d sit, with my Dad, and get all into Peter Cottontail; but of course, the all time favorite Easter special was the religiously significant “It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown!”
Yeah, Easter movies and television geared towards children are about as religious in nature as “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”. It’s always been that way. Kids don’t really want to sit for an hour or more and watch the crucifixion of a significant historical figure over differences in religion and a struggle for power. I may be wrong, but it just doesn’t scream “warm and fuzzy” – like an Easter bunny. And besides, doesn’t Veggie Tales cover that somewhere?
So that was kind of a long way to tell you that I was not disappointed that Hop wasn’t loaded with religious significance. I didn’t expect it to have any, unlike some other reviews I’ve seen. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a bit disappointing.
Here’s the story – the Easter Bunny is getting on in years, and he’d like to pass the responsibility of world (well, except for China) sugar high induction on to his come of age son EB. EB, however, has decided that he is destined more for a life of rock stardom, and he sets off to realize his dreams where young, rebellious, determined to make their own way in the world rabbits all go –
Ireland - Hollywood.
Coincidentally, a young man(Fred) living in the neighborhood already finds himself the victim of an Intervention, as his family makes the determination that he is not rebellious or determined enough, and they want his arse out the door, on his own, and not mooching off of Daddy’s dime. This poor, now homeless young man is forced to stay in a multi-bazillion dollar mansion as a house sitter for his sister’s boss. Yeah, he learned his lesson.
The two wayward young adults meet each other accidentally, and hilarity ensues. Well, okay, it doesn’t; but there is some humor – twice, I heard a line uttered by the amazingly talented Russell Brand that made me laugh out loud (I think his comedic timing is impeccable).
My girls loved the movie, but it fell a bit flat for me. It seemed a little bit rushed to come to the conclusion, and in the end, I’m not sure real dreams were fulfilled – except for Fred’s father, and honestly, for a man who wanted his son to find “steady” employment, I’m not sure how he ends up so freakin’ deliriously happy about Fred’s new very part time gig.
I don’t think the characters were very well developed, and the sub-plot of the evil villain Carlos (who obviously has not seen the You Tube videos of what happens to Peeps put in the Microwave – that might have helped keep him in his place) wasn’t very well thought out at all. There was no real affection for Fred or EB, so honestly, if they had both ended up homeless on Hollywood Boulevard, selling fake Godiva chocolate bunnies, I’m not sure the end of the movie emotions would have been any different. Instead of a weepy, happy, awwwww feeling, it was more of a “so that’s what happens to them – let’s go get sushi.”
I will say though that Russell Brand is the highlight – his lines are hysterical in a couple of spots, funny in others, and the big bonus here is that as much as I love Russell Brand, he’s damn scary to look at. I’m glad I got the opportunity to enjoy his movie without actually having to watch him. I won’t be so lucky when I go next week to see “Arthur”.
For kids – I’d give the movie a thumbs up. Seriously, who’s making Easter specials anymore?
For grown-ups – Don’t expect the big laughs you found in Despicable Me. If you didn’t have to take the kids, I’d tell you to go see something else, but what the hell – it’s Easter time, the kids will be excited to see the movie, you’ll be the hero Dad or Mom for taking them, and if you’re lucky, they’ll leave you alone the whole rest of the evening so you can tend to your virtual farm in Farmville as a reward. Sounds like a win-win to me.