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Rhythm & Hues/Universal Studios

Hop

Movies | This film is a muddy mess that will certainly bore both adults and children alike

Issue: "Clutching two, dropping four," April 23, 2011

The camera swoops into a magical candy factory, glistening conveyor belts jet in every direction carrying flights of chocolate and gummy confections while miniature workers operate whizzing mechanical gadgets and an enormous fountain erupts in streams of jelly beans.

The introduction to the Easter Bunny's factory at the beginning of Hop is an animated wonderland, a playful nod to Roald Dahl and a moment of genuine marvel and delight in a movie that otherwise fails to incite either marvel or delight. The new animated/live-action hybrid from the creators of Despicable Me has neither the wit nor the creativity of its predecessor but instead relies on predictable gags and boring plot points to create a film that's both tedious and uninspired.

The story follows a rebellious 20-something slacker who dreams of being a rock 'n' roll drummer but is expected to take over his father's business. The twist is that the slacker is E.B., an animated rabbit, and his father is the Easter Bunny. The occasionally funny British comedian Russell Brand voices the rebellious E.B., who ducks out on his father's expectations two weeks before Easter and heads to Hollywood in search of his dreams.

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Meanwhile, in the land of the humans, Fred (the likeable James Marsden) is a hapless man-child whose parents boot him from their house, insisting he get his life together. One unimaginative plot turn leads to another and after Fred accidentally hits E.B. with his car, the two team up to help each other. Meanwhile, back at Easter headquarters, a scheming chick (voiced by the funny Hank Azaria) plots to take over Easter and step in as the new "bunny." Ultimately, it's up to Fred and E.B. to save the day.

Unfortunately, the fantasy never gels and the film is a muddy mess that will certainly bore both adults and children alike. Rated PG, the movie includes some child-inappropriate humor.

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