Hop Tim Hill

Hop Tim Hill
By now, anyone that has seen the trailer for Hop knows the biggest gag in the film involves Easter Bunnies pooping jellybeans. Upon discovering a pile of colourful candies excreted by the irreverent animated central rabbit character, E.B. (voiced by Russell Brand), The Big Bang Theory's Kaley Cuoco unwittingly ingests one despite warnings from her brother, Fred (James Marsden), shrugging her shoulders indifferently, exclaiming, "Watermelon."

Now, I'm sure that children delight in the prospect of coprophilia, seeing as eating poop is icky, but I have to question originality, as this was also the biggest joke in director Tim Hill's last animated/live action feature film, Alvin and the Chipmunks, only with seeming Raisinettes instead of jellybeans.

In fact, much of this glossy, soulless commercial holiday bid for disposable income is a little too familiar, or stale, loosely borrowing the premise of musically-oriented, problematic talking animals reluctantly bonding with out-of-work slacker men in their mid-30s. The only real distinction is that E.B. has a strict father (Hugh Laurie) pushing him into the Easter Bunny trade by birthright, while socialist yellow chicks complain about the repetition of a job without room for growth.

Since E.B. wants desperately to be a drummer, he leaves Easter Island to find success in California, where he enters the life of Fred, ruining job interviews, crapping all over his house and so on.

While there are minor chuckles to be had in the face of obvious jokes, such as our spunky, bunny protagonist pretending to be stuffed just to cop a feel from Fred's sister, Hop suffers from the same insular, recycled formula tedium as Chipmunks. The entire film is merely a series of loosely connected vignettes involving awkward cameos by David Hasselhoff and Chelsea Handler as humans that seem indifferent to the existence of a talking rabbit.

Since every moment is so predictable, hollow and patronizing, even for children, all there is to do is politely wait until the final credits, when an array of cute, animated characters inevitably line up and perform a choreographed dance to a tired, ubiquitous pop tune, which seems to be the calling card for crap these days. (Paramount)