Anthony's Film Review

Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)

The Looney Tunes can still live on in the 21st century...

Movies that are simultaneously live action and animation involve one major challenge. How can one interweave the two media in a way that makes the whole product seamless? You don't want to watch what still appears to be two separate pictures. Neither do you want the movie to just have that feeling of it being fake. Some films of this format are done very well, and Looney Tunes: Back in Action is definitely a good example of this.

You might remember the live action/animated film Space Jam, in which basketball star Michael Jordan finds himself in the cartoon world and helps the Looney Tunes win a basketball game. It wasn't bad, but what this Looney Tunes film in 2003 does is to have an equal mix of live action and animation. We don't have a human character in an animated world. Instead, our favorite cartoon characters inhabit our world. Consider what you see in this movie: Yosemite Sam owning a Las Vegas casino, Marvin the Martian in Area 51, Granny with Sylvester and Tweety as next-door neighbors, Wile E. Coyote working for the Acme Corporation, and Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck in a meeting with executives at Warner Bros.

That's how the movie starts. Bugs and Daffy are in this meeting discussing plans for future works. The executives, including Kate (Jenna Elfman), Mr. Warner, and Mr. Warner's brother, watch the old classic "Duck Season, Wabbit Season." It may be familiar to any of us who have seen it and laughed at which character gets shot by Elmer Fudd. However, the executives decide that today's audience wants something different from this old style of humor. Meanwhile, DJ (Brendan Fraser) works as a security guard at Warner Brothers, getting his hands full as he tries to escort Daffy off the premises. He comes home to find out about his father, Damien Drake (Timothy Dalton), who used to work as a spy.

The two plot lines merge into a story in which the characters must find the Blue Diamond, an artifact that can turn humans into monkeys, before the evil chairman at Acme (Steve Martin) gets it first. The movie has a lot of humorous gags and fun action scenes along the way, including a car chase in Las Vegas with Yosemite Sam and his gang and, my favorite one of all, Elmer Fudd chasing Bugs and Daffy through some famous paintings at the Louvre. There are numerous pop culture references that will provide something for the adults, including a spoof of the shower scene from Psycho. These jokes may fly over the kids' heads, but they will still love the movie.

The point is that the movie works well for both kids and adults. There's a reason for anyone to smile during the film. These animated characters have been around for decades, yet they still can be entertaining in this modern age. I like how the film doesn't simply repeat the style of the old cartoons but rather mix in the old and the new. I like the cast as well as the voice actors for the characters. Mel Blanc and other legendary voice actors are no longer around, but I'm sure they would be proud of a new set of voice actors keeping the legacy of the Looney Tunes alive. Bugs Bunny and the gang are now definitely back in action.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Looney Tunes: Back in Action, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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