Hop past ‘Hop’ at theaters

At least the children in the theater found it funny. However, Universal Picture’s “Hop,” a combined live-action and animation movie, will probably be considered unbearable by anyone past the age of nine.

“Hop”’s premise is that the next heir in line to be the Easter Bunny, “E.B.,” (voiced by Russell Brand) wants to escape his future to go to Southern California and fulfill his dream of being the world’s most famous bunny drummer. While there, he accidentally meets up with Fred O’Hare (James Marsden), a 30-something, unemployed slacker whose dream job is to be the Easter Bunny. They work together to make each other’s dreams come true.

This film is simply terrible. While animated films such as “Up” or “Tangled” can entertain both adults and children at the same time, “Hop” fails to provide entertainment to people of different age groups. “Hop” should have been a direct-to-DVD film like “Cinderella II,” where its brutal crassness and knuckle-dragging plot development could be purchased on DVD for under $10.

“Hop” borrows heavily from Hollywood’s Christmas traditions. There is the Easter sled, guided by the Easter Bunny and pulled aloft by a couple dozen magic chicks.

Like Santa, the Easter Bunny has one night to spread candies and sweets across backyards for children around the world; and instead of being located in the North Pole, he’s located on Easter Island in South America. Easter Bunny’s slick, robotic candy factory is populated by hundreds of bunny and chick workers, and is run by a rooster foreman.

Additionally, this film is riddled with dozens of clichés right up until the very end. The film uses a play on words with stale references to pop culture such as “Hoff’s Got Talent” to compare to the real-life “Britain’s Got Talent.”

Fortunately, misery loves company. The actors portraying Fred’s parents (Gary Cole and Elizabeth Perkins) and his two sisters (Kaley Cuoco and Tiffany Espensen) did a fantastic job delivering one clichéd line after another.

In its defense, “Hop” does do a perfect job blending live-action film with animation. That said, if looking for an entertaining time at the theater, skip this film and head straight to the concession stand. There‘s more entertainment value in a box of popcorn.

Story by Chuck Heffner