A laugh-a-minute movie, LOONEY TUNES: BACK IN ACTION, by director Joe Dante
(SMALL SOLDIERS), is a live-action picture with inserted cartoon characters
… la SPACE JAM. The plot has Kate Houghton (Jenna Elfman), Warner Brothers'
VP of Comedy, firing the duck that plays Daffy Duck (voiced by Joe Alaskey).
As she points out, the studio owns the name after all. Apparently this
happens often since a passing tour bus announcer tells his passengers,
"Folks, if you look to your left, you'll see Daffy Duck being forcibly
removed from the lot again." Playing the part of the straight man in the
movie, Elfman's casting just doesn't work. She also has the infuriating
habit of never quite looking in the right spot when interacting with her
Although the guys drawn with ink are definitely the best part of the movie,
Brendan Fraser gives them a run for their money in a hilarious role as Bobby
Delmont, a security guard and stuntman wannabe. His father (Timothy Dalton)
is a super-secret agent whose cover is as an actor playing a super-secret
agent in thrillers such as OLLY OLLY OXEN SPY. Keep your eye out for the
movie posters. One of the best is the upcoming LETHAL WEAPON BABIES that
will vastly expand the demographics of the audience for the LETHAL WEAPON
The dialog is great. One of the best lines is spoken after a tsunami of a
disaster swamps the car in which Bugs Bunny (also voiced by Joe Alaskey) and
Kate are riding. Using a fishing pole, Bugs declares, "Hey, what do you
know? I found Nemo."
Letting it all hang out, Steve Martin gives his most over-the-top
performance ever as the nefarious head of the Acme Corporation. Think of a
very prissy Austin Powers with an especially bad hairdo and a really awful
wardrobe, and you'll be close.
This very cute family film does throw some great bones to the adults in the
audience. The best of these is a black-and-white sequence in which Bugs and
Kate reenact the shower scene from PSYCHO. Don't worry. It's funny, not
scary. The movie is a mild PG that is definitely for all ages. My only
bone to pick with the film was that it's about ten minutes too long. And,
speaking of time, I didn't even have enough time to tell you about Joan
Cusack as Mother, the leader of the mysterious Area 52, or to describe the
most imaginative incident of all when the toons go into the paintings at the
LOONEY TUNES: BACK IN ACTION runs 1:30. The film is rated PG for "some mild
language and innuendo" and would be acceptable for all ages
My son Jeffrey, age 14, gave it ***, saying that it was hilarious. He liked
everything about it, especially Fraser's performance.
Copyright © 2003 Steve Rhodes