Igor Tony Leondis

Igor Tony Leondis
With rainbow-reaching fortune cookie wisdom delivered in a decidedly idealistic fashion, a non-stop parade of demographically inaccessible, tongue-in-cheek reference jokes and an angular, optically disproportionate aesthetic that liberally borrows from the Dr. Caligari and Tim Burton oeuvre, Igor mashes together many ideas and tones, never finding a great deal of comfort in any of them. While this clustering of whimsies ultimately leads to an affable, if overly wholesome, message of "looking on the bright side," while pointing out political obfuscation, the journey is sloppy and uneven, with technical fouls aplenty. It is, however, interesting, at times, featuring some decent vocal performances and the occasionally inspired joke, but it is difficult to determine what audience might have an appreciation for this, as the material will prove too dark for many youngsters and too insipid for elders. Opening in the city of Malaria, a place shrouded in clouds and darkness, a mere Igor (John Cusack) dreams of being an inventor, despite his obligatory social relegation as a "pee on." When Dr. Glickenstein (John Cleese), Igor's boss, dies, the humble servant takes the opportunity to create Eva (Molly Shannon), a Frankenstein-like being who unfortunately is filled with good rather than the preferred evil. As Malaria has a regular Science Fair run by corrupt politician King Malbert (Jay Leno), Igor tirelessly works on inciting malevolence in Eva in order for him to beat Dr. Schadenfreude (Eddie Izzard), who wins every time. Included on the DVD release are concept art galleries and characters, posters and set design, along with an alternate opening to the film, which runs much like an expositional newsreel. Also included is a feature-length commentary with flamboyant director Tony Leondis, Valley boy writer Chris McKenna and producer Max Howard, a more reserved Brit. Many of the last minute rewrites and production problems are revealed, along with the genuine enthusiasm involved in the production. There is an overwhelming sense that this film exists as a learning experience for all involved, rather than as a success. (Alliance)