Hop begins on Easter Island, home base of the Easter Bunny (voiced by Hugh Laurie) and his son, EB (Russell Brand). On the other side of the planet, Fred O’Hare (James Marsden) is an unemployed SoCal slacker housesitting for his sister’s wealthy boss. Both EB and Fred have one thing in common—daddy issues. When EB and Fred hook up in Hollywood the pair discovers they might be able to help one another out and save Easter in the process.
Richard Crouse: Mark, to me Hop feels more like an hour-and-a-half advertisement for plush stuffed bunnies than it does a movie. EB and his bunny and Easter chick friends are cute, but clearly more time was spent on the marketing angle than the story. What did you think?
Mark Breslin: Richard, let’s face it; we’ve lost the battle when it comes to marketing of characters in kids’ movies. I now just assume that the movie is just a promo for the spending to come. A five-year-old will be transfixed by the eye candy onscreen. The question is whether there’s anything for their parents to enjoy. In movies like Toy Story or Shrek, there’s plenty. But in this one, Richard? What do you think?
RC: The humour and broad acting style is directed at little kids, yet the movie is rated PG, which means that parents can’t just send their kids solo. Grown-ups might get a chuckle out of EB’s jellybean gag — he poops jellybeans and says at one point, “I just jellybeaned all over your dreams” —but the odd cameo from David Hasselhoff — he’s going for the William Shatner self-aware shtick — is as funny as you’d imagine a cameo from The Hoff to be. There’s not much here for anyone over four years old. Harvey this ain’t.
MB: No, but I did enjoy the look of the movie, all primary colours and a few visual gags that popped up just often enough to keep me from losing my mind. The oddest part of the movie was the casting, and not just Hasselhoff. I thought Russell Brand, the comedian du jour, had been so neutered he was wasted in the part (and I don’t mean wasted in the usual Russell Brand way). Couldn’t the part have been done by any Brit?
RC: If this had even a little bit of edge I could see why they chose him, but it seems like he’s only there because Ricky Gervais and Eddie Izzard were too busy or too clever to take the role. I actually had some hope for Hop when I heard Brand was involved because I thought he might bring something interesting to it. Instead it is just average, which is a shame given how kid’s flicks have made strides in recent years away from treating kids like they’re stupid.
MB: Of course, to the four-year-old sitting next to me, it was Citizen Kane.