Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you my 1700th (ish) movie review. Yes, a Milestone Review!
Except this is also technically my 1702th review. I have been quite busy lately and I forgot this grand milestone was coming upon us. Technically my review of Central Intelligence was the 1700th posted, but hey, close fucking enough, right!?
Anyways, Looney Tunes: Back In Action. Do you remember it existing at all? I doubt it. The first movie after the wildly cult success of Space Jam, I remember avoiding it at all costs. It looked bad, it looked different, it wasn’t Space Jam 2. Fourteen year old me knew it would be bad, and after it came out we basically all agreed to stop talking about it.
But to continue with a different theme. Is this the movie that helped kill Brendan Fraser‘s post Mummy career? I already did a milestone review of Journey to the Center of the Earth, but that didn’t kill his career as it was already on the decline in 2008.
Can a duck bring down a jungle boy, a caveman, and a rock star?
In this world gone mad, Looney Tunes and other cartoon figures roam the streets and live throughout the world, because they are just strange animated actors. Yes, they can still ignore physics and have other cartoon perks, but they are just…real. And in this real world, Warner Brothers is about to fire Daffy Duck.
He is being a dick, demanding rewrites, tired of getting shot and so on, so they just say screw him and kick him out of the studio. They don’t give a fuck, people want to see Bugs Bunny anyways, not the other cast and crew.
Surely this decision will not come back to bite Kate Houghton, Vice-President of Comedy (Jenna Elfman), in the ass.
These are the only other non LT cartoon characters shown and hey, it is a funny scene.
DJ Drake (Brendan Fraser) is a sort of stunt man and security guard at WB and he is yelled at to find the Duck and make sure he actually leaves the lot. Of course there is a huge scuffle and the batman mobile ends up knocking over the WB water tower, all over executives and equipment, thanks to DJ and Daffy. So DJ gets fired too, a double whammy firing day!
Those WB executives sure are cold. Looks like Kate didn’t know that he was a special security guard/stunt man. His father was Damien Drake (Timothy Dalton), a really famous movie star for the company. Shit.
She doesn’t care, they ruined her hat!
Speaking of his father, turns out Damien Drake is more than just a movie star. He is secretly a spy (because spies are usually a secretive profession). Damien needs his son to travel to Las Vegas, find his associate, and help find the “blue monkey” diamond. What is that? Good question. DAmien is too busy getting kidnapped to answer though.
And Daffy hasn’t left DJ alone, so he demands to come along for the ride. The studio be damned, he has an adventure to do.
About this time also, Kate realized she fucked up, the movie isn’t as funny without Daffy, so she makes it her mission to find DJ and Daffy to restore her film and restore her job.
That is a different woman with a different job.
They end up meeting up, making it to Vegas and that dancer is of course Dusty Tails (Heather Locklear, shit, how old is this movie?), a secret spy as well. She works at a club run by Yosemite Sam because he works for the ACME corporation, the big bad guys of this world.
Wanna know why they are bad? Good question. But they are the ones who captured Damien! Dusty gives them a Queen playing card with Mona Lisa’s face and they are chased off by Yosemite.
They also find out that the evil ACME corporation wants the blue monkey diamond to…turn everyone in the world into monkeys! Oh, okay. Mr. Chairman (Steve Martin), is that really your goal?
“Of course it is, why else would I be stretching??”
The gang heads to Paris, France, as they are basically now spies and fuck it. They go to The Louvre because The Mona Lisa painting is there and they know how to read obvious clues.
Using secret card technology, they discover that behind The Mona Lisa is a map of Africa. And it doesn’t look to detailed, but it is the best they got. Elmer Fudd also shows up, turns out he was secretly working for ACME as well, oh no! Fudd chases our duck and bunny through a series of paintings because they are cartoon characters, whatever.
And you know what? It annoys me. They go from famous painting to famous painting. Like The Scream painting. And the god damn Scream painting isn’t at The Louvre, never really was, but the movie goes lazy. Sure, they can get the Mona Lisa right, but then they decide to skirt the details?
Come on assholes. Anyways, as expected, they escape and head to “Africa” to find the next clue.
Hopefully there isn’t another art museum there. It’s best paintings will have been stolen b The Louvre.
In Africa, they awkwardly find the Jungle Temple like. Really quickly. The Grandma and Tweety bird show it to them, because they know things too. Inside is the Blue Monkey, and then, shenanigans! The Grandma and company were actually Mr. Chairman the whole time!
They transport everyone back to their lair, using technology, and force DJ and Kate to give up the blue diamond when they show Damien as their prisoner.
And now, by putting it on the satellite, they can turn the whole world into monkeys!
This picture is entirely out of place, but its strangeness makes it okay.
At this point, a lot of comic violence occurs. They have to fight to save Damien, fight to get the blue monkey back, and more people appear.
Of course they save the day and the only one who turns into a monkey is Mr. Chairman himself, take that fuckers. Daffy had to become Duck Dodgers to do it, but he was successful.
They determine the whole thing was staged to be a film and all of this was meaningless. Makes a bit more sense now. But don’t worry, Bugs is going to make Daffy equal partners from now on, until the credits suddenly appear and a deal can’t be made. Ha ha, suck it Daffy!
And we have to end the film with a kiss, it just makes sense.
There were so many bad decisions made in this film, it is unbelievable.
In Space Jam, we go from a regular human world with cartoons, where they live in the earth in a magical other realm, to…they just live on Earth and everything is fine? Having all of these characters not together,spread out awkwardly around the world means outside of Daffy and Bugs we rarely get any real cameo time. So it is all Bugs and Daffy and very little else, feeling like a huge missed opportunity.
And the genre shift goes from space adventure sports film to a spy film? Going from Sports film to Spy film is usually not a good genre order, but at least now can understand where Cars 2 got the terrible idea from.
I am not sure if this is the film that killed Fraser’s career, because no one really saw it or cared for it enough to damage his already strange career. Plus, Monkeybone was already a thing at this time. Another film I haven’t seen but could try it for a future milestone given the weird things I’ve heard. It might have damaged Elfman’s movie career before it could really take off, so she basically stuck to TV.
But here is the most important question I have. The subtitle is Back in Action. What the fuck at they back in action to? Like, if this was a direct sequel to Space Jam that might make sense. As they return to Earth to do things (spy things unfortunately, but things nonetheless). But no, it is talking about a return, but there is no return at any point in this movie.
If it should have a title along these lines, Looney Tunes: Now in Action might make sense as this spy adventure is not their normal cup of tea.
This movie is a disgrace. Space Jam might not actually be a great film (according to lame people), but this one is far below Space Jam.