Strangely, there have never been many children or family films released around the holiday of Easter. You can’t stop Hollywood from pushing out Christmas-themed movies, but never really anything directed at a holiday filled with images of a bunny who delivers colorful eggs filled with candy to kids. Well, Universal Pictures has finally taken care of that. “Hop” has hit theaters and it doesn’t look like critics have a whole lot of good to say about it and its leaving moviegoers torn in two.
The critics have definitely spoken about “Hop.” New York Daily News’ Elizabeth Weitzman stated that the film is “as fake and forgettable as a marshmallow Peep, ‘Hop’ goes down easy enough. It’s the thought of a talented actor stuck on an industry conveyor belt that leaves an unfortunate aftertaste.” Robert Abele from the Los Angeles Times said “the only thing missing is any real wonder, imagination or comic verve.” New York Post reviewer Kyle Smith agonized over the concept that “presented with the opportunity to do the first-ever big-budget Easter bunny flick mixing live action and animation, ‘Hop’ gives us . . . a bunny who poops jelly beans.”
Not wanting to just give one side of the story, there have been a few good reviews for “Hop.” Kirk Honeycutt from The Hollywood Reporter called the movie “a fun and funny mix of live action and animation that puts the hop back into Easter.” USA Today’s Claudia Puig reported that “‘Hop’ will win audiences over with its goofy charm.” Nick Schager of the Village Voice reported that “despite its scattered frenzy, ‘Hop’ — thanks to its fondness for smushing together seemingly incongruous elements and Marsden’s goofy mugging — is just demented enough to deliver a fleeting sugar rush.”
Moviegoers seemed to think “Hop” was hit and miss. Joshua H. stated that “the animated bunny, EJ, is fun to watch, but the acting by the real life humans is sub-par. The voicing of the fluffy bunnies and chicks is top-notch, but the script fails to produce many real laughs. I chuckled quite a few times, but in the end, the film lays an egg.” Imran K. felt strongly that “‘Hop’ is literally ‘leaps and bounds’ above its other animated contenders. It focuses on more mature themes such as betrayal and compulsion, and weaves an interesting tale of redemption with its multi-faceted characters.” Jessica L. said that it was “terrible, terrible. The story line stunk and it dragged like road kill.” “This was better than I expected. Seeing it with a 5 and a 6-year old that thoroughly enjoyed it probably helped,” wrote Irene R.
Family film and entertainment website Movieguide.org stated that “Hop” was “a very funny movie, with some laugh-out-loud dialogue, that insightfully points out the problems in every family. A high-octane children’s comedy with good moral lessons. That said, although its subject is Easter, it makes no reference to the reason for the season.”
Like it or not, if you’re looking for something to do with the kids this coming weekend focused on the Easter holiday, “Hop” is about all you’ve got. From most of the moviegoers’ reviews above, it looks like the movie would at least be entertaining for who it was meant for. Sometimes when taking the family to movies, that’s all you can hope for.
“Hop” was directed by Tim Hill. It stars James Marsden, Kaley Cuoco, David Hasselhoff, Chelsea Handler and the voices of Russell Brand, Hank Azaria, Elizabeth Perkins, and Hugh Laurie. The film is Rated G and all ages are admitted. It was put out through Universal Pictures on March 30.