Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)

PG   |    |  Animation, Adventure, Comedy


Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003) Poster

The Looney Tunes search for a man's missing father and the mythical Blue Monkey diamond.

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5.7/10
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  • Steve Martin in Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)
  • Heather Locklear in Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)
  • Steve Martin in Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)
  • Steve Martin in Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)
  • Joe Alaskey in Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)
  • Jeff Bennett and Jeff Gordon in Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


15 September 2004 | Buddy-51
Fairly dreadful film
I bow to no one in my love and admiration for those classic Warner Brothers cartoons of the 1940's and 1950's. Like so many of my generation, I was virtually raised on these works from infancy on up. Yet, for those of us who are die-hard aficionados, 'Looney Tunes: Back in Action' is a decidedly depressing experience, proving, once again, that when it comes to revisiting one's childhood, a person truly can't go home again.

This is not, of course, a re-visitation in its purest form, since 'Back in Action,' like 1996's 'Space Jam,' is actually a modernized hybrid combining live action with animation. And that, perhaps, is the single greatest problem with this film. Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, the Road Runner and the rest of the gang clearly feel more at home in their own two-dimensional world in which the laws of nature have no jurisdiction. Yank them out of that context and stick them into the 'real world' with a bunch of overacting humans and their unique charm begins to drain away and dissipate. Unfortunately, both the cartoon characters and the humans with whom they are interacting are stuck with a dreary, largely unfunny script that substitutes pandemonium and movement for cleverness and wit (qualities the original cartoons had in abundance). The spy tale writer Larry Doyle has come up with is stultifying in its stupidity and reminds us of just why the Warner Brother originals, which were masterpieces of minimalist storytelling, ran for ten or fifteen minutes and no longer. Expanding the story to almost ten times that length stretches the already flimsy material far past the breaking point.

There are a few moments of inspired fun, such as when Bugs and Daffy, followed by an irate Elmer Fudd, jump in and out of art masterpieces in the Louvre, wreaking havoc as they go, or when our intrepid band of heroes encounters a secret Area 51-type government project in the desert inhabited by a coterie of creatures from 1950's 'B' movie classics. In fact, the movie has quite a bit of fun with 'in' movie references that adults are far more likely to get than the children who clearly make up the bulk of this movie's audience. But those moments of inspiration are few and far between, and most of the time we are stuck in a fairly dismal comedy overall. The blending of live action and animation, under the guidance of director Joe Dante, is pretty much state-of-the-art, though these particular cartoon characters have more charm when they are two, rather than three, dimensional in form.

Brendan Fraser, as a stunt man who goes in search of his kidnapped father with Bugs and Daffy along for the ride, makes an appealing hero, although the usually likable Jenna Elfman succeeds mainly in being annoying. Timothy Dalton has a nothing part as Fraser's dad, a legendary movie actor who turns out to be a spy off screen as well as on. Heather Locklear, Joan Cusack, Roger Corman, and Kevin McCarthy also make brief appearances, but the single worst job of acting is turned in by an overwrought and over-wound Steve Martin, who as the diabolical head of the Acme Corporation, delivers a ham handed performance of monumental badness.

Lovers of The WB cartoons had best stick with the originals.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The DVD-ROM contains ten full deleted or extended scenes. 1. An alternate opening with Daffy presenting a Batman-like project for himself to star. 2. Daffy being thrown out of the WB studio lot along with D.J. (Brendan Fraser). 3. A brief scene where D.J. and Daffy are running through the Vegas streets, and Daffy momentarily gets distracted by some show girls. 4. A scene in the desert where Bugs and Daffy taunt D.J. and Kate's (Jenna Elfman) predicament. 5. A much longer fight sequence in Area 52, including a long sequence where Daffy and Marvin the Martian board spaceships and battle each other through the Grand Canyon. 6. The heroes try to pass a Gauntlet of Death. Daffy is not successful. 7. Mr. Chairman (Steve Martin) punishing one of his representatives (Robert Picardo) 8. Daffy being transformed into a fly. 9. D.J. tries to save Kate from Bill Goldberg on the Eiffel Tower. 10. Alternate ending where D.J. battles Mr. Chairman in the jungle ruins over the Blue Monkey diamond.


Quotes

Foghorn Leghorn: Place, I say, place your bets! Money plays, loser stays! Everyone's a winn - well, not everyone.
Yosemite Sam: Here's my money, now play!
Foghorn Leghorn: Card, sir?
DJ Drake: Hit me.
Foghorn Leghorn: Don'cha, I say, don'cha wanna look at your cards first, son? Boy's as sharp as a bowling ball.
DJ Drake: Hit me.
Yosemite Sam: No,...


Goofs

The glasses and bow tie appear on Bugs without us seeing him put them on


Crazy Credits

During the end credits, rough pencil test animation from the movie is shown.


Alternate Versions

When Broadcast on ITV and ITV2, several scenes involving violence are removed, including Sam shooting the banana skin in the casino scene, and Bugs placing the popcorn inside the marked alien during the Area 52 fight scene.


Soundtracks

Orpheus in the Underworld Overture: Can-Can
(uncredited)
Written by
Jacques Offenbach

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Animation | Adventure | Comedy | Family | Fantasy | Sci-Fi

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