Got up early for a saturday, and headed up to the valley to pick up John. We headed on over to the Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood for the familiy screening of Looney Tunes: Back in Action. As I had gone to the scoring session about a month or so ago, I was looking forward to the final film – and I wasn’t disappointed.
The beginning of the film is a bit of a mess, as so many things are thrown at us, and so much happens just to get the plot started. Once it settles into the right pace, though, it becomes a much more enjoyable film. The gags and jokes are non-stop. The pop-culture references and cameos are great, and I was on the floor with Kevin McCarthy’s brief on-screen appearance.
There is no better director for this type of film than Joe Dante. After his work on Gremlins 2 which, for all intents and purposes was a live-action WB cartoon, this project was a natural choice. Sure it’s a little silly and goofy at times, and some of the jokes don’t work, but there are enough of them to keep the laughs coming.
The human/animation interaction doesn’t seem to have progressed much since Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but the animation certainly has improved – the integration (i.e. compositing) of the animation is much cleaner, and the lighting looks quite good. All in all, this film “works” because you can easily accept the animated characters. The music, however, was mixed so low you could barely hear it. That being said, the Goldsmith cues were pretty decent (when you could hear them), and the Debney stuff was generically appropriate. It’s a fun score, but nothing award-worthy.
The marketing campaign for this film is crap. Even though I knew I was going to see it, and was excited for it after the scoring session, seeing the trailers didn’t get me interested or thrilled for it at all. So, my suggestion is: if you like the WB animated films, and the Looney Tunes style of comedy, go see the film. Ignore the trailers. I hope you won’t be disappointed!