Action & The Barbarian Invasions
For holiday filmgoers
who want to take the kids out or get in touch with their inner
child, there's Warner Bros. Looney Tunes: Back in Action, a
blend of live-action and animation. Director Joe Dante's premise
creates a world where cartoon characters blend in with their
human costars, and showcases Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck as scene-stealers
throughout. When Warner studio's tough VP of comedy Kate (Jenna
Elfman) fires Daffy, she orders the studio security guard and
aspiring stuntman DJ (Brendan Fraser) to boot him off the lot.
When this goes wildly wrong, Daffy and DJ end up taking off
for Las Vegas to rescue his dad (a self-parodying Timothy Dalton)
who is a Warner star and secret agent.
Recognizing her blunder, Kate and Bugs Bunny take off to lure
Reunited, the foursome end up on going all over the world
trying to foil the maniacal monkey plot being hatched by Mr.
Chairman (Steve Martin), head of the Acme Corporation. Along
the way, they meet and interact with a host of other Warner
cartoon icons. Of the live actors, Martin impresses the most,
although he has limited screen time.
The film strives
to entertain kids with nonstop action and adults with inside
jokes. A highlight for adults is a chase through the Louvre
where the Daffy and Bugs leap into and out of paintings and
they'll certainly get a kick out of
some scenes that recall ÒPsychoÓ or show Daffy
in a photo with Richard Nixon. For the kids, there's a frenetic
pace and some jokes and pranks sure to delight them.
Oscar and Emmy award winner Jerry Goldsmith's score adds just
the right notes throughout. (91 minutes, PG)
When the kids are tucked in, take in Denys Arcand's remarkable
The Barbarian Invasions, a story of dying Remy that celebrates
life, as his friends, a marvelous group of talkative intellectuals,
turn his hospital room into a roundtable of delectable chitchat,
which ultimately becomes immensely moving. (99 minutes, R)#
For times and theatres of both films, call 212-777-FILM.