PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):
On Easter Island, a young rabbit named E.B. (Russell Brand) is intended to succeed his father, Mr. Bunny (Hugh Laurie), as the Easter Bunny. Intimidated by the calling’s demands, E.B. runs away to Hollywood to pursue his dream of becoming a drummer. Mr. Bunny sends his three ninja royal guards, the Pink Berets, to find his son. Meanwhile, Easter Chicks Carlos and Phil (Hank Azaria) plot a coup d’état against Mr. Bunny to take over the Easter organization.
Wandering through Van Nuys, E.B. is hit by Fred O’Hare (James Marsden), an out-of-work, job-hopping slacker (who is being pressured by his family to “get a job”) who was driving to his sister Sam’s (Kaley Cuoco) boss’s house he’s housesitting. Feigning injury, E.B. persuades Fred to take him in as he recovers, but when E.B. causes trouble Fred attempts to abandon him in the wilderness. E.B. persuades the human to help him by claiming to be the Easter Bunny, whom Fred saw in operation in his youth. The rabbit sees the Berets closing in on him and hides inside a business where Fred is having job interview. E.B. enjoys a successful recording session with the Blind Boys of Alabama as their substitute drummer, but ruins Fred’s job interview. In the process, E.B. gets a tip about a possible audition for David Hasselhoff, who invites him to perform on his show.
Afterward, Fred attends his adopted younger sister Alex’s (Tiffany Espensen) Easter school pageant with E.B. hiding in a satchel. E.B., alarmed that the Pink Berets have apparently found him due to the three bunny suit shadows on a wall and disgusted by Alex’s awful rendition of Here Comes Peter Cottontail, dashes out and disrupts the show. Fred feigns a ventriloquist’s act with the bunny’s cooperation as his dummy and they lead the show in singing, “I Want Candy”. Both his father, Henry (Gary Cole), and Alex, are angry about the upstaging but Fred is inspired to be the Easter Bunny himself. E.B. is skeptical but he agrees to train the human and finds that Fred has some genuine talent for it.
As the Pink Berets close in on him, E.B. prepares a decoy to fake his death and leaves for Hasselhoff’s show. The Berets see the decoy and, horrified that the human has apparently killed E.B., capture Fred and take him to Easter Island. Fred is held captive and confronted by Mr. Bunny and Carlos about killing E.B. Carlos pretends to be upset about E.B.’s death, silences Fred (who tries to reveal the truth of the decoy) and seizes control of the Easter factory.
Meanwhile, at the Hoff Knows Talent live show, E.B. is in his dressing room preparing for his performance but his reflection begins to berate him for leaving Fred. Just then a production assistant (also played by Russell Brand) arrives to tell him that he is next to perform. E.B. leaves his dressing room and begins to feel guilty about leaving Fred so he discusses the situation with Hasselhoff, who advises him to go back and help his friend. E.B. finds evidence of Fred’s capture and races back to the factory. He confronts Carlos, but is immobilized in gummi candy and tossed into the chocolate bunny carving line. Fred and Mr. Bunny are tied up with black licorice and are to be boiled alive. Fred manages to free himself and Mr. Bunny by eating away the licorice and E.B. survives by dodging the blades. Carlos, now a chick-bunny combination due to Easter magic, engages battle with E.B. and defeats him easily due to his size and then tries to lead the Egg sleigh out with Phil directing via lighted wands.
To stop the launch, E.B. improvises a drum session. Uncontrollably driven to dance to the beat, Phil provides the wrong signals, causing a crash and Carlos is subdued. After being defeated, Carlos is made to pull the Egg sleigh and Phil is made the new head of the Easter Chicks. E.B. and Fred are made co-Easter bunnies and take over the job. Fred’s family is now proud that he has a job and responsibilities.
In the post-credits, E.B. and Fred are in China delivering an Easter basket to the same woman who had previously attacked Mr. Bunny earlier in the film.
I know what you’re going to say. Why am I reviewing Hop when Easter has come and gone already. I don’t really have an answer for that other than I just wanted to check out something animated. I’m not so sure that it wouldn’t it have been a better choice to watch something…anything…else.
What did I like?
Story. We’ve heard billions of stories about Santa Claus, but the Easter Bunny hasn’t been so lucky. The only thing we get is that he hope around the world hiding Easter eggs and delivering baskets of candy. It was nice to see him get some exposure.
Real actors. The live actors did a great job, even with this subpar material, of making the audience believe they actually cared.
Easter. Everything you know and love about Easter, with the exception of the religious stuff, is somewhere in thie films. They even mention Peeps, well marshmallow chicks, but it’s the same thing. these just can’t mention an actual brand.
What didn’t work for me?
Russell Brand. This guy has worn out his welcome, as far as I”m concerned. For me, he’s funny in small doses, or as a specific character, such as Aldous Snow. This film is already struggling to keep my attention without him showing up and being his annoying self. I will say that the short 15 seconds where he encounters his live action counterpart was nice, though.
E.B. As with many films of this nature, the character we’re supposed to love is nothing more than annoying, which makes you want to hate them. This is especially true with E.B. since he costs Fred a job by screwing up his interview. Remember the days when a character like this would be all warm, nice, and not annoying?
Evil chicks. Now, I want to give them props for not making the villain some jealous sibling, but chicks? Seriously? That’s the best they could come up with? Why not a jealous Cupid or feud with leprechauns? Maybe some ornery veterans who don’t like Easter being such a big deal while Memorial day is just forgotten (ironic, isn’t it?). On another level, why did the chicks have to be Hispanic when everyone else sounds like they’re British? Something just seemed off about that to me.
I’m so glad I didn’t hop out to see Hop when it was originally released. I’m likely to come out of that theater demanding my money back. This film is bad, not horrible, but bad. I do not recommend it, but if you happened to come across it somewhere, it won’t be a loss to check it out. Hopefully, the next animated film I watch will be worth the time!
2 2/3 out of 5 stars