Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Adventure Comedy, Family-Oriented Comedy  |   Release Date - Nov 14, 2003 (USA)  |   Run Time - 91 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Craig Butler

Looney Tunes: Back in Action is a frenetic and fast-paced live action-animation blend that may not be a true classic but which packs in more than enough fun to make it worth watching, especially for cartoon fanatics. Looney is overall a good zany time and comes about as close to capturing some of the magic of the cartoon characters from their heyday as is possible. Of course, there's also the live action portion of the film to contend with, and it's undoubtedly true that the "real" people in Looney get the short end of the stick. After all, how can flesh-and-blood actors compete with the likes of Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny? It's not that they don't try or that they don't do well. Brendan Fraser is about as appealing as one could wish, and Jenna Elfman is deliciously corporate. And Steve Martin, in over the top mode, still can't compete with real toons, but he gives it a good college try. Still, there's an imbalance between reality and "cartoon-ity" that persists throughout the film and weakens it a bit, as does the fact that even Joe Dante's wild direction can't keep the frantic pace up without it becoming a tad wearing. Still, when Looney is in top form -- as when Elmer Fudd is chasing Daffy and Bugs through the Louvre or when the characters are in a wonderful sci-fi land -- Looney is tremendously engaging.