Review – Hop (2011)

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hop-545cc87cef7a2Welcome to Kid’s Week: Day 4. Now, let’s be honest here. How many films can you think of that are revolved around Easter, and don’t say there’s plenty of Jesus films. Easter, with the candies and the bunnies and the Easter bunnies! Not many. In fact, I really can’t think of more than maybe two, one of them being Hop. Interestingly enough, I’ve never actually seen the movie until this week, so I was hoping to see something really good, or at least, decent. So, let’s discuss what the movie was about.

He was destined to be the Easter Bunny, but all he wanted to do was rock! When teenage E.B. leaves for Hollywood in pursuit of his dream to become a rock star drummer, he meets Fred, an out-of-work slacker with his own lofty goals. Together the two encounter a series of hilarious mishaps and misadventures and in the end help each other recognize the importance of family.

Essentially, this was a Christmas film that was masked as an Easter film. There’s a sleigh of sorts that are carried by magical flying baby chickens, They have a delivery every year, an Easter factory where they make their candies, lots of little bunny helpers, etc. It’s Christmas plain and clear, but the mask they use is still really good. Instead of actually feeling like Christmas with Christmas spirit, it feels more like another true holiday that’s all about joy and magic. If you’re wondering, all of the candies and bunnies and chicks and colors going around definitely felt like Easter. While it doesn’t have a massive competition, Hop might just be the best Easter movie that exists.

First impressions aside, let’s go ahead and break the movie apart and examine what was good and not-so-good about Hop. Let’s interpret the stars.

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PEOPLE SCORE – 3/10
Acting – 0|Characters – 1|Casting – 1|Importance – 0|Chemistry – 1

Starting off on a bad note with the people category, which only received three out of ten possible stars. Ouch. First off, we have the acting subcategory, which got a glamorous zero. Why? Well, with kids movies and comedy films, you don’t typically need the greatest acting, but usually, it’s just typical stuff. James Marsden was specifically terrible at acting in this film, particularly when he was attempting to speak to a (granted) fake CGI animal, his entire face twists and contorts in unnatural ways that just screams bad acting, more than just typical kids movie silly acting. The characters were fine, but nothing I’ll really remember, the casting was all fine as well, but anyone could’ve played these roles. However, with very little plot involved in the film, no one really had a really important role to play. Finally, chemistry. I feel like there needed to be better chemistry between E.B. and Marsden, but because of his awful acting, that never really happens.

WRITING SCORE – 5/10
Dialogue – 1|Balance – 0|Story – 1|Originality – 1|Interesting – 2

Next up, we have the writing category, which also didn’t get the best score. The dialogue itself wasn’t all that memorable, and the only time it tried to be was when they were saying typical Christmas lines made to sound like Easter. This also turns into something pretty convoluted by the end, as there’s not much of a main direction throughout the film, and then there is – and then there’s this villain that seems to pop out of nowhere, it just wasn’t natural. The story isn’t terrible, but nothing I’m going to remember as being very special. It’s more of an original take on Christmas, but the actual originality isn’t by much. Is it interesting? For that, I’ll say of course. We don’t have nearly enough Easter films, and this is a decent one.

BTS SCORE – 8/10
Visuals – 2|Directing – 1|Editing – 1|Advertisement – 2|Music – 2

Okeedokey, next up is the stuff going on behind-the-scenes, which actually did get an alright score. The visuals were honestly pretty great. There’s a lot going on with the graphics and animation, which all blended rather nicely with the live action parts. As far as directing and editing is considered, a lot of that was common for any other kids movie, so that wasn’t impressive. I’ll give it credit for being as advertised, and for having a decent soundtrack, especially when the bunny decided to drum, that was always fun.

NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 9/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 1|Falling Action – 2

Hop also followed a pretty solid narrative structure, as do most kids films. The introduction got us acquainted with this secret land and generational traditions of the Easter bunnies. The inciting incident is when E.B. decides he doesn’t want to be the Easter bunny, runs away, and runs into James Marsden’s character. The obstacles mostly come to Marsden attempting to get a job and keep the fact that he has a talking bunny a secret. The climax is a little anticlimactic because of the weird convoluted part of the story, but fully points return with the falling action, which returns to a new norm.

ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 6/10
Rewatchability – 2|Fun – 2|Impulse/Buy – 1|Impulse/Talk – 0|Sucks you in – 1

A big part of this movie was that it seemed to be more about being a fun, entertaining film than being something that’s technically good, which is why it’s awarded more points here and with the specialty questions than anywhere else. I think it’s definitely a traditional film you can easily watch every Easter, it’s a lot of fun for both the kids and their respective families, you might even want to buy it…if you can find it cheap, that is. It sucks you in during certain scenes, but not all of them, but it never begs the audience to have any discussions about it. No one is going to watch it and feel a strong urge to tell others to see it.

TOTAL SPECIAL – 50/50
Kids Week – 10|Family – 10|Comedy – 10|Easter – 10|Halfway Decent – 10

Now, for the specialty questions that I wrote before seeing the movie. For kids week, this is a very good film for both kids and their respective families, so if you’re looking for a good movie to watch every Easter, I’m pretty sure I’ve found the perfect film, so that covers three specialty questions, the next two cover its comedy and if it was halfway decent. With the comedy, I felt like there was a lot of sarcasm in this movie, which you don’t always see in animated films like this, so I definitely thought a few of the scenes were certainly funny, and as for being halfway decent? Even though I felt it was a masked version of all Christmas movies put together, I still felt it did what it wanted to do, which was making a decent Easter movie that you would have no issues watching it every year, so yes. It is halfway decent.

TOTAL – 81/100

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