Do you believe in the Easter Bunny?
Alas, Easter is almost here, and kids are anxiously awaiting the day when they can rush out into their back yards to search for all the delicious treats that the lovable Easter Bunny has laid before them. Leaving many kids to wonder, who is the Easter Bunny? How is he able to deliver all those eggs and delicious treats in one night? Is it magic? Or is there something else? Of course, many parents along with most adults like myself know the truth about the Easter Bunny. Wink. Wink. However, for the sake of argument, let's pretend nobody knows anything about the secret behind the Easter Bunny, and presume he actually exists. Yes, I know that's a stretch for some to buy into, but it'll be easier to explain the story if you do. Therefore, I would like to ask all my readers to please suspend your dis-beliefs and pretend your kids again; fantasizing about the Easter Bunny.
Now, that we've established that. Let's get into the story of this. As we all know, the legend of the Easter Bunny is one similar to that of Santa Clause. Once a year, he hides his eggs and other delicious candy treats along kid's backyards and/or houses. Yet, unlike Santa, very few people know how he does it. Hm, doesn't that make you wonder? Well, "Hop" basically explains that in this movie. Behind the Easter Bunny operation is an underground factory ran by the Easter Bunny and his Chicken allies, who basically do almost all of the prep work for Easter. I guess one could say they are to the Easter Bunny, as the Elves are to Santa. Every generation, the Easter Bunny passes down his mantle to his eldest son, to take over the holiday. However, as luck would have it, E.B. (Russell Brand) has no interest in taking up his father's mantle. Why you may ask?
Well, it's fairly simple. E.B. been pressured his whole life into becoming the Easter Bunny to perfection that he becomes paranoid about screwing it up, and letting his father down. To make matters worse, he'd rather be a professional drummer than a Easter Bunny. Needless to say, this angers his father. What's a poor little rabbit to do? Thus, he runs away to Los Angeles in pursuit to live out his dream of being a rock star. Along the way, he meets a thirty year old dead beat named Fred O' Hare (James Marsden), who couldn't land a job to save his life, and they quickly become friends. Well..sort of anyways. Meanwhile, Carlos (Hank Azaria), the head chick and the Easter Bunny's right hand man, stages a mutiny against the Easter Bunny; in an effort to take over Easter. Now, E.B. and Fred must go back to the Easter factory to save the day. Hooray!
Okay, I'm done pretending here folks, so you can stop suspending your childlike dis-beliefs now, as what I'm about to say isn't very nice. I think potentially this movie could've stood alone as a great holiday film. Seriously, how many epic films do we ever see about Easter? We have a ton based on Santa Clause, but we rarely ever see ones based on the Easter Bunny, and what do we get? A uninspired and unoriginal film where one could easily say this movie deliberately rips off Tim Allen's last Santa Clause film. You know. It's the one where Jack Frost stages a series of events to steal Christmas away from Santa. Except, this one is far less elaborate and a lot more simplistic. Did the writers even try to create a original heartfelt world about the Easter Bunny? As it seems like the writers just ripped off every single cliche about every Santa Clause film ever made, and substituted it with Easter themes. The toy factory is replaced by a candy factory, while the elves and reindeer are replaced by the chicks. And, get this folks. The Easter Bunny doesn't just hop into kiddies' backyards. No, that would be too easy. No, he rides in on a sleigh being pulled by chicks. Now, tell me that's not ripped off from an old Santa cliche, huh?
Anyway, as bad as this film was, it could've been a helluva a lot worse. To be honest, the film did have it's moments to where even the most cynical viewer could laugh. Sure, some of the jokes might go over some of the kid's heads, as they're geared towards adults. However, like the suprise hit of "Despicable Me", they're made so subtle that it won't be inappropriate for the kids to watch.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this film flat out sucks, but it does leave a lot to be desired. However, the comical chemistry between James Marsden and Russell Brand really shine through in this film, as they literally carried this movie to make it at least halfway decent. And trust me, this film was one cute joke away from being deemed another lousy "Alvin and the Chipmunks" movie, as far as I'm concerned. Luckily, Russell Brand's clever voice acting along with James' amazing knack for physical comedy really shine through to save what could've been a disaster.
Outside of the gripes that I had about the film, the special effects were actually very good. From watching the trailers, I was expecting to see some level of inconsistency whenever the live action actors interacted with the CGI characters. However, that wasn't the case. If anything, audiences will be blown away by just how plausible the surrealistic characters seem to blend in naturally with the live action actors of the film.
Overall, I think kids will obviously love this film, as the story is fairly easy to follow, and it's fairly inoffensive enough to where parents won't mind taking their kids to see this. Although "Hop" was nowhere near as good as it could've been, it's still fairly entertaining enough to where even adults might get a few chuckles out of it too. That's why I'd have to give this film a two out of four. It's a decent family film to take your kids to, but I wouldn't expect much more out of it.