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Time Out New York Project: Issue #806, March 31-April 6, 2011
Dir. Tim Hill. 2011. PG. 95mins. James Marsden, Elizabeth Perkins, Russell Brand.
Fact, kids: There’s not just one Easter Bunny. As this half-live-action, half-animated feature informs us, there’s actually a long line of colored-egg–delivering wabbits stwetching back genewations. They all speak with British accents and live with an army of yellow worker chicks on Easter Island, which must confuse the hell out of any descendants of the Rapa Nui. The most recent Bunny is grooming his son, E.B. (voice of Brand), to take over. But all this hepcat cottontail wants to do is play the drums professionally.
So it’s off to Hollywood — the land of dreams and David Hasselhoff (cameoing as a stone gargoyle-like version of himself — where E.B. teams up with thirtyish slacker Fred O’Hare (Marsden), who’d love nothing more than to be the first human Easter Bunny. Comic shenanigans ensue, the funniest of which is how easily the anthropomorphized E.B. moves around the West Coast metropolis. Barely anyone bats an eye (a Walk of Fame waitress shrugs with can’t-faze-me assurance), and El Hasselhoff sells the suspension of disbelief by noting, “My best friend is a talking car.”
That jest should clue you in to the kinds of nostalgic references in which Hop trades, along with a few eye-rolling citations of modern-day touchstones like Guitar Hero and Chelsea Handler. (Props, though, to the WTF musical interlude featuring the Blind Boys of Alabama.) The various plot threads — E.B. is pursued by a trio of ass-kickingly cute long-eared operatives; a disgruntled worker chick (voiced in emphatic Telemundo tones by Hank Azaria) orchestrates a coup d’etat — mostly get lost amid all the allusions. Even Hugh Hefner pops up because, you know, Playboy Bunnies. Why do I have a sudden craving for rabbit loin?—Keith Uhlich
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