It may house some top-tier Hollywood voice talent, but this Easter Bunny animated tale basically just lays an egg....
Universal / 95 Minutes / 2011 / Rated PG / Street Date: March 23, 2012
Hop wants to be the proverbial good Easter movie, a family-ha-ha good time that kiddies will giggle and chatter about long after its end credits roll. But even with the studio power of the Despicable Me team (a movie that was really pretty fun), Hop is a dreadful, monotonous experience in animated terror, a movie that is so narratively misguided that even a blank appreciation of its CGI merits are all but thoroughly torpedoed by dingbat story arcs and unconvincing characters.
There are familiar voices aplenty here - Russell Brand, Hugh Laurie, Hank Azaria - but their typically reliable sensibilities aren't enough to keep Hop buoyant. Disappointingly dumb, dimly charming, and ultimately pointless, it doesn't come as much surprise that this Easter romp failed at the box office. Sure, we're all susceptible to opening weekend publicity, but even though this thing was able to limp to $100 million at the box office, this Blu-ray Disc edition all but damns the movie to be implicitly forgotten by the time the Easter Bunny comes around next year.
Brand voices our lead character, E.B., the heir to the Easter Bunny throne (seriously) who decides that he's not interested in following in his family's footsteps. No, E.B. opts instead to take a mystical journey to modern Hollywood in an attempt to make it big as a drummer (or something like that). He eventually crosses paths with live-action Fred (James Marsden), a slacker and all-around dopey dude who takes the opportunity of meeting the wacky E.B. to finally assess his faltering life and finally act, trying to make something of himself before it's too late.
There are searches staged for E.B. - his dad (Laurie) hires a group called the Pink Berets (led by Azaria) who end up being a rogue group bent on liberation from the Easter Bunny regime - and Hop plays out exactly as you'd expect. Animated family films don't need to reinvent the wheel in any way, shape, or form (sometimes plain and simple escapism is exactly what an audience wants), but Hop neither gives us something new or delivers any sort of new riff on familiar themes. It's an inert, uninspired movie that is as disappointingly bland as it is dramatically uneven.