Blu-ray Review: HOP

Hop occasionally entertains during its breezy runtime and therefore it’s probably fine to watch with the younglings or by yourself if feeling particularly brain-dead.

The Film


I€™ll be honest. I was dreading this review€. All I knew about Hop was that it was a family comedy about the Easter Bunny, starring the voice of Russell Brand and coming from the director of Alvin and The Chipmunks - it€™s something I€™d quite happily have spent the rest of my existence without seeing. Maybe because my expectations were so low, or I because I was slightly drunk, Hop wasn€™t actually quite as god-awful as I was expecting. But lets be clear, it€˜s still a poor effort. It just about ticks the required boxes for a family movie that€™ll entertain the kids with its cute animation and broad slapstick, while adults can enjoy the references to the porn industry (Hugh Hefner in his first and hopefully last appearance in a kids movie) and even more bizarrely, a live performance from The Blind Boys Of Alabama. Ticking the boxes just isn€™t enough these days, especially with Pixar continuing to create outstanding family films which resonate with anyone at any age. Hop is about as routine as you could get - with a plot which is shockingly reminiscent of countless other family movies. Switch Easter for Christmas, an animated rabbit for a paunchy Tim Allen and you€™ve essentially got The Santa Clause. It€™s also stuffed with convenient plotting, cynical product placement (the Bunnies must make a killing on Hershey€™s kisses) and weighty family issues which are neatly resolved by the films climax. To be fair though, I€™m not going to refute the importance of the films message - to follow your dreams and never ever give up. I€™m just not sure if Hop will actually manage to ever inspire anyone. It€™s sort of like Rocky or Springsteen€™s Thunder Road - with a rabbit that shits jelly beans and David Hasslehoff. Russell Brand plays E.B, the free spirited Rabbit who€™d like to become the world€™s greatest drummer but is shackled to his set path to become the Easter Bunny. His dad (Hugh Laurie) is less than thrilled with the idea of breaking tradition, forcibly encouraging his son to follow the family path. Meanwhile in the non-cgi real-world Fred O€™Hare (geddit ?) played by James Marsden - hamming it up to John Barrowman levels - is going through similar strife with his father (Gary Cole). When E.B decides to run away from home to pursue his dreams in Hollywood, their paths predictably cross and hilarity sporadically ensues. Few hybrids of animation and live action have managed to successfully emulate the magic of Robert Zemeckis€™ Who Framed Rodger Rabbit - Hop is no exception. While the CGI animation is impressive and manages to blend fine with the live action, the script always feels like a poorly constructed excuse to simply move the gags along. When your major plot point suddenly becomes getting your animated rabbit to impress the Hoff for a talent contest, something has gone terribly wrong. Hop just about zips along quickly enough with the odd chuckle to pass without leaving too much of a lingering odour. The voice acting is good for the most part, with actors like Hugh Laurie and Hank Azaria doing the best they can with the material given. Even Russell Brand isn€™t completely unbearable, managing to make E.B likable and irrelevant rather than overly cute for a film of this sort. It€™s not aimed at me, and I didn€™t lose the will to live, making Hop a passable family film which you can probably add an extra star onto if watching with children. Transfer There€™s no faults in Hop€™s transfer - looking bright, crisp and colourful, particularly during the scenes in the chocolate factory on Easter Island. Even the Hoff looks realistically leathery. Extras Hop comes to Blu-ray and DVD with a very light selection of overly brief special features. There€™s some ridiculously short featurettes running at around a minute each - offering insight into the films voice acting. While its fun to see actors like Hugh Laurie in the recording booth, these are over before they even begin. Other than that, all you get is a short video diary from a Justin Bieber style Australian tween-pop star, who sings the films unbearable cover of I Love Candy. Overall Hop occasionally entertains during its breezy runtime and therefore it€™s probably fine to watch with the younglings or by yourself if feeling particularly brain-dead. Just prepare yourself for a distinct feeling of Déjà vu and a large helping of cringe. Hop is released today on Blu-ray and DVD.

Cult horror enthusiast and obsessive videogame fanatic. Stephen considers Jaws to be the single greatest film of all-time and is still pining over the demise of Sega's Dreamcast. As well regularly writing articles for WhatCulture, Stephen also contributes reviews and features to Ginx TV.