* (out of four)
The heir to the title of Easter Bunny (voiced by Russell Brand) would rather be a drummer, so he runs away from Easter Island (seriously) to California, where unemployed Fred (James Marsden) lives with his parents. After the usual shrieking and recognition that he’s encountered a talking rabbit who thinks he’s Keith Moon, Fred sheepishly helps the critter, whose best attribute is the ability to poop jelly beans.
The buzz: Fortunately director Tim Hill is an expert at blending zany human antics with hilarious CGI creatures, as evidenced by beloved films such as “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and “Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties.” And by beloved, I mean “extremely irritating and painfully embarrassing for everyone involved.”
The verdict: Skip, jump, run away, whatever! Do anything you have to do to avoid “Hop,” which treats its plot like a formality and its young viewers like brainwashed twits who don’t need jokes—just the mention of dreams and candy—to be entertained for a grueling 90 minutes. Kids surely will think the holiday of Easter signifies only the invention of chocolate, while adults will find it creepy that a single man in his mid-30s wants to be the Easter Bunny.
Did you know? Because films like this always think injecting pop songs into the lives of animated characters is funny, we’re treated to EB (as the bunny’s not so charmingly nicknamed) playing “Rock Band” to Hole’s “Celebrity Skin” and numerous sing-alongs to “I Want Candy.” Having fun yet?
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