Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)



Movie Title: Looney Tunes: Back in Action

Year Released: 2003

Rated: PG

Runtime: 1h 31min

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Mystery

Director: Joe Dante (Eric Goldberg - animation director)

Writer: Larry Doyle

Starring: Brendan Fraser, Jenna Elfman, Steve Martin, Timothy Dalton, Heather Locklear, Joan Cusack, Bill Goldberg, Don Stanton, Dan Stanton, Dick Miller, Roger Corman, Kevin McCarthy, Jeff Gordon, Matthew Lillard, Mary Woronov, Marc Lawrence, Bill McKinney, George Murdock, Robert Picardo, Ron Perlman, Vernon Wells, Leo Rossi

Review: When the Acme Corporation, lead by a manic Steve Martin, attempts to establish worldwide domination by acquiring the mythical Blue Monkey diamond and using it to turn the human race into monkeys it's up to Bugs, Daffy, film producer Kate (Jenna Elfman), and security guard DJ (Brendan Fraser), to stop any monkey business from taking place. Live-action and animation are combined in a fast-paced adventure that truly shows fans of these classic characters just how loony these toons can get! What's up, Doc? It's Looney Tunes: Back in Action, that's what's up!

Looney Tunes: Back in Action is a celebration of the creative genius, mayhem, and hilarity that has made Bugs, Daffy, Tweety, Taz, and all of the rest, some of the most entertaining and beloved animated characters in history. Director Joe Dante is the perfect guy to brilliantly emphasizes all of the wit and wackiness that made these lunatics icons of entertainment. The film is loaded with sight-gags, word-play, and in-jokes, that will please fans of all ages.

Everything about the movie is ridiculous, in a good way! The plot is silly and something that fits the Looney Tunes like a glove. The famed Acme Corporation wants to turn people into monkeys with the help of a mystic and mysterious gem known as the Blue Monkey and Bugs and Daffy, along with their human co-stars, have to stop it. Come on! You can almost hear "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down" playing, can't you? Bugs, Daffy, and the gang do what they do best engaging in classic banter, spouting classic lines, and getting caught-up in classic comedy bits. And what's also fun is that the villainous Tunes are actually played as villains. Taz, The Coyote, Marvin the Martian, just to name a few, are henchman to Acme's evil schemes - and that makes perfect use of these classic characters. Credit goes to Dante and screenwriter Larry Doyle for this, both know these characters so well and just how to use them and when to use them within this cuckoo comedy.

The human cast Brendan Fraser, Jenna Elfman, Steve Martin, Timothy Dalton, Heather Locklear and Joan Cusack, are all fine in there supportive roles. Martin is especially fun as the bizarrely eccentric and crazed Mr. Chairman. But the true stars of this picture are the Looney Tunes in all their epic glory. They are fast, funny, and endlessly entertaining as their antics propel the plot along, get them in and out of jams, and get us laughing along the way. Unlike Space Jam (1996) and Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021), Looney Tunes: Back in Action is actually a "Looney Tunes" movie through and through!

Recently, I've discovered the troubles Joe Dante endured during the production. When you watch the film you certainly get the feeling that some scenes end abruptly or seem to have bits missing from them, but with all of its problems the plot zips along, the jokes and gags are fast and furious, and all of the Tunes and their classic craziness are on full display and shall delight fans both young and old.

Looney Tunes: Back in Action is not perfect, but it is fun, silly, and wildly entertaining. Finally, the Looney Tunes are in a movie that let's the lunatics run the asylum! It's way more of a slam dunk that either of the Space Jam flicks, and that's all, folks!

Stars (out of 4):
       

Fun Fact: When Bugs Bunny holds up 5 Oscars and a star on the walk of fame, that is historically accurate. Looney Tunes has won five Oscars over the years.



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