“Hop” is yet another example of a movie that is more idea than it is a story. The idea: What if the Easter Bunny ran away to Hollywood and met a struggling shlub who always wanted to be the Easter Bunny himself? Now, while that is a potentially funny and strange idea, the makers of “Hop” seem to have stopped at coming up with the premise.
Russell Brand as the Easter Bunny
“Hop” stars the voice of Russell Brand as E.B a young rabbit destined to become the Easter Bunny. But, E.B he doesn’t want to be the Easter Bunny. E.B’s dad (voice of House star Hugh Laurie) is passing the job to him after years of being the Easter Bunny himself. E.B however, dreams of being a drummer in a band and with his dream in mind, he runs away to Hollywood.
Running parallel to E.B’s story is that of Fred O’Hare (James Marsden) who is living with his parents (Gary Cole and Elizabeth Perkins) after being fired from his job. Fred has no direction or ambition until his sister (Big Bang Theory’s Kaley Kuoco) gives him an opportunity to housesit at a glorious Hollywood mansion.
David Hasselhoff is not funny
That’s when Fred meets E.B and, to no one’s surprise, E.B begins shaking up Fred’s life, causing trouble wherever the two of them go. Fred is a good sport however, and he does take E.B to an audition for a TV talent show hosted by the egregiously unfunny David Hasselhoff.
I will stop there with the ‘plot’ description as the rest is relatively predictable nonsense. “Hop” was directed by Tim Hill who brought the same eccentric chaos to the first “Alvin and the Chipmunks” movie and the second ‘Garfield’ movie. To Mr. Hill’s credit he has become very competent at incorporating animated characters and human characters.
Set ups, gags and no story
If only Mr. Hill had the same attention to story detail as he does to animated ones. Sadly, Mr. Hill, along with the several screenwriters on “Hop,” neglect story in favor of set up and pay off gags that could be described as hit and miss if I wanted to be generous. There are far more misses than hits in the gags of “Hop.”
The biggest problem with “Hop” is that it is a premise and not a movie. The creators of “Hop” invented an idea about the Easter Bunny in the real world and then invented some gags to play against that premise but nothing that ever coheres into a well told and meaningful story.
Why see Hop when you could see Rango
Kids might enjoy the colorful animation and I know a few adults who just like the sounds of Russell Brand and Hugh Laurie’s accents, but these are not the kinds of pleasures that a critic can recommend you spend your hard earned money on. I especially cannot recommend a movie like “Hop” when “Rango” is in theaters. “Rango” is a movie that does more to earn the price of a ticket in the opening credits than “Hop” does in it’s entire 90 plus minute run time.