NYAAAAAHHHHH, what’s up, pals? It’s me, Burl! I’d like to review a picture that I’ve just finally gotten around to watching, and that’s Joe Dante’s half-cartoon Looney Tunes: Back in Action! I’ve never been what you’d call a fan of half-cartoons, though I’ve seen Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Cool World and of course Evil Toons, which, like this picture, features the great Dick “Sorority Girl” Miller! (He could be the only actor to have ever starred in more than one of these half-cartoons, ha ha!) But I’ve never bothered with Space Jam, and probably never will!
Anyway, for whatever reason, I wasn’t the least bit interested in Looney Tunes: Back in Action when it came out, even though I was and am a big Joe Dante fan! Ha ha, after all, he made Piranha, The Howling, Explorers and Matinee, and has been known to sing the praises of Miller! It just seemed like a bit of Hollywood kids' nonsense! But I finally watched it, and thank goodness it was a lot more entertaining than I expected it would be!
That’s squarely because of Dante, I’d be willing to bet! Ha ha, he surely does bring along many of his cultural obsessions, and if you were to make a Venn diagram of Dante’s cultural obsessions and ol’ Burl’s, I think you’d find significant overlap there! Of course I’m not nearly the Warner Bros. cartoon fanatic he is, though I am a longtime and devoted casual consumer, so those aspects – the greater part of the movie, that is to say, ha ha – were not lost on me!
The story begins with tension between Daffy and Bugs, which has to be resolved at the executive level at Warner’s! Meanwhile, elsewhere on the lot, a lowly security guard wishes to become a stuntman, but fails miserably and upsets the actor he’s actually being played by, Brendan Fraser! Ha ha, the “real” Fraser is a mean man, and the security guard played by Fraser is a meek and humble stumblebum, who happens to be the son of the studio’s biggest action star, a James Bond type played by Pierce Brosnan who actually turns out to be a real superspy! He in turn is kidnapped by a psychotic nerd played by Steve Martin, and only Brendan Fraser, the “fake” one, not the “real” one, can save him!
Ha ha, are you following all this? Amid all this plot stuff, they do manage to shoehorn in the cartoon creations! Ha ha, there are plenty of jokes from these loveable characters, and just like in Roger Rabbit, there’s plenty of uproariousness mined from the collision of the physics of our world and that of the cartoon entities who operate by their own physical guidelines!
And then there’s Steve Martin, who gets generally frowned upon in the other reviews of this picture! But no frowning from ol’ Burl! No, his nasal performance, while slightly perplexing, is perfectly cartoonish, as befits the material! His wig is pretty great too! Ha ha, I like how he romances Mary Woronov! That’s a match made in some kind of crazy heaven!
I know the movie didn’t turn out like Joe Dante wanted it to, and I firmly believe his version would have been much better! But there’s still plenty of entertainment here, a few laffs, and of course Dick Miller! That automatically makes it worth seeing, and I give this effort two Robot Monsters!
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