Decided to revisit one of my favorite films which made me think, double feature!
Looney Tunes Back in Action has Daffy Duck getting fired from Warner Bros. and getting mixed up with a security guard named DJ who gets fired after he screws up catching the duck as he runs amok. Soon the pair find out that DJ’s father, movie star Damian Drake, is really a superspy in trouble. The two, soon joined by Bugs Bunny and a studio exec named Kate, seek out a diamond in an effort to save Damian Drake and defeat the chairman of Acme. A crazy little adventure comedy starring Brendan Fraser, Jenna Elfman, Steve Martin, Timothy Dalton with Bill Goldberg, Ron Perlman, Joan Cusack, and several cameos. I really love this movie.
If you like Daffy Duck, Looney Tunes or Space Jam this is a great film. Hell its a great film without needing those reasons. Directed by the supremely talented Joe Dante of Gremlins, the Howling and two films I absolutely love in the Explorers and Matinee (need to grab that on DVD) this film just so amusing. You got Matthew Lillard being criticized for his performance in the Scooby Doo movie by Shaggy himself with Scooby. You got film legend Roger Corman directing Batman. Michale Jordan ready to jam. Apparently you have a Dalek from Dr. Who (I don’t follow Dr. Who) and just so much other crazy. The explanation for blatant product placement is perfect. There is so much energy in this film. Plus of course-Looney Tunes! All sprinkled out and being awesome.
Fraser is the right man for the job. He is an animated type of actor. The scenes with Daffy are incredibly fun. He actually works well off of everyone. Jenna Elfman is fine, though saddled with the “ice queen” archetype she does a good job despite the cliches that come with it. Basically playing a straight woman in the comedy. Steve Martin is zany, over the top, and I love it. Acme’s Mr. Chairman is a brilliant idea for a villain. Timothy Dalton, its like, he plays the same character in everything no matter if comedy or drama. His delivery, mannerisms here remind me of Hot Fuzz or Penny Dreadful. Its not a complaint, its just amazing how he can I close my eyes and listen to him in this film and imagine Sir Malcolm Murray in Penny Dreadful saying those same lines. But lets be honest-the real star is Daffy.
The commercials and trailers did not get me into the theaters, it was hearing that Daffy was the centerpiece. He was the hero. Thank you! Daffy is my favorite Looney Tune. Daffy is in a number of my favorite shorts. I love that crazy duck. I love this movie. You should see this movie. Too bad it didn’t do well, even though critically it was more well received than the next movie in my double feature. Though that film was bigger and more loved.
Space Jam-how does this film exist? Seriously who sat down and said “we need a film where Michael Jordan plays basketball with the Looney Tunes against aliens.” On top of Jordan, the Looney Tunes and several sports stars it has Bill Murray and Danny Devito. Plus a ridiculously famous soundtrack featuring R. Kellys biggest song of all time. What? Seriously I want to know how this film pitch went. Apparently inspired by a Nike ad where Jordan faced off against Marvin the Martian.
Basically Jordan is having trouble in his baseball run while the Looney Tunes are being targeted for abduction by an alien who needs attractions for his theme park. The Tunes challenge the small aliens to a basketball game but the small aliens steal the abilities of star players and become the huge Monstars. The Tunes recruit Jordan to help them beat the Monstars on the court. Now Jordan has to whip the team into shape and lead them to victory. Thus is the highest grossing basketball film of all time. Think about that!
Seriously I don’t really know what to say about this movie. I saw it in theaters when I was young cause my brother had become obsessed with it at the time. I don’t even know how he was obsessed with it since he was not a particular fan of basketball or Looney Tunes. At the time I thought it was amusing but corny and I still do. Having watched it again I still love the scene where the Tunes really meet the aliens for the first time and are ready to surrender at the first sign of a laser blaster. Wayne Knight is amusing as the publicist. Bill Murray is great as Bill Murray. I’m of course a fan of Daffy and wish he was in it more but him and Bugs do get the most time to shine of the Loony Tunes. But they needed more!
Space Jam was a hit when it came out and has some how managed to maintain its popularity. I found out there is a short mockumentary made up the “game.” There is a Funny or Die table read with actors and athletes doing parts. There is a twitter dedicated to informing everyone that the Space Jam website is still up and running. Tumblr has a Space Jam community. Some people are making inappropriate art of Lola bunny while others are cosplaying her.
I like Space Jam but I might be in the minority feeling that Back in Action is the superior movie. I had a great time with the two films and recommend them for like minded people.