Looney Tunes: Back In Action Joe Dante

Looney Tunes: Back In Action Joe Dante
As far as mainstream animation goes, there are few cartoon stables with as much cross-generational appeal as the Looney Tunes gang. Long before The Simpsons and pre-historicising The Flintstones, short films featuring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Sylvester the Cat, Tweety Bird, Elmer Fudd and Wile E. Coyote, among many other memorable characters, managed to effortlessly combine buffoonish pratfalls with highbrow wit and sophistication, creating their own brand of comedy that continues to appeal to both children and adults. Thus, unlike its family-friendly Disney counterparts, the animated live action feature Looney Tunes: Back In Action is rated PG for "some mild language and innuendo," which gives it a slight edge in an otherwise flimsy chase film that poses itself as an Altman-esque satire of Hollywood. Employing a classic "unsuspecting heroes versus devious villains" premise, director Joe Dante spearheads this project that combines smartass cartoon characters with real life humans. The film features Brendan Fraser as wannabe stuntman DJ Drake, who is also the hapless son of esteemed spy-film character actor Damien Drake, played by Timothy Dalton (presumably cast as a winking nod to his stint as James Bond). Together with Jenna Elfman as a film exec fighting to keep her job, Fraser teams up with a cocky Bugs Bunny and an insufferable Daffy Duck (has he always been this annoying?) to try and save his father and thwart the evil schemes of the Acme Corporation's Mr. Chairman, played by an off-time Steve Martin. While the film's pointed self-awareness often seems rather forced (Fraser's DJ Drake claims to have once been fired by Brendan Fraser, while the cartoons invariably refer to their animators, etc.), and the plot is a tad predictable, Back In Action still manages to offer something to both older and younger audiences, and the DVD's behind the scenes featurettes are both insightful and enjoyable. Plus: featurettes, deleted scenes, more. (Warner)