Looney Tunes: Back in Action

Looney Tunes: Back in Action

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Joe Dante
Produced by Allison Abbate
Bernie Goldman
Karey Kirkpatrick
Paula Weinstein
Written by Larry Doyle
Starring Brendan Fraser
Jenna Elfman
Joe Alaskey
Steve Martin
Timothy Dalton
Heather Locklear
Joan Cusack
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
John Debney
Cinematography Dean Cundey
Editing by Rick Finney
Marshall Harvey
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date(s) November 14, 2003 (2003-11-14)
Running time 91 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $80 million
Box office $68,514,844

Looney Tunes: Back in Action is a 2003 American live action/animated adventure comedy film directed by Joe Dante and starring Brendan Fraser, Jenna Elfman, Timothy Dalton, and Steve Martin. The film is essentially a feature-length Looney Tunes cartoon, with all the wackiness and surrealism typical of the genre. It is the third live action/animated movie the characters were featured in, the first being Who Framed Roger Rabbit and the second being Space Jam. The film became a box-office bomb, making little money while receiving mixed to positive reviews. It was also the last film to feature a score by veteran composer Jerry Goldsmith before his death in 2004.

Contents

Plot

Tired of playing second fiddle to Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck demands his own movie from the Warner Brothers only to be fired by VP of Comedy Kate Houghton (Jenna Elfman). DJ Drake (Brendan Fraser), son of action star Damian Drake (Timothy Dalton), is also fired from his job as a security guard when trying to escort Daffy from the studios, driving the Batmobile into the studio's watertower which falls on Kate's car. Kate tries to make Bugs' film more educational and socially relevant, but he refuses to work with her unless Daffy is brought back; she is ultimately forced to comply to keep her job after Bugs is injured during a routine that required Daffy's presence. DJ returns home and is surprised to find Daffy snuck along. Finding a hidden video screen, DJ is told by his actual super spy father to go to Las Vegas to find a woman named Dusty Tails to get a diamond called the Blue Monkey. DJ and Daffy head out in an old AMC Gremlin car. Bugs and Kate arrive at the house after Bugs calls Daffy and learns the situation, and pursue them in Damian's spy car, a TVR Tuscan right hand drive. Also after the diamond are the Acme Corporation run by Mr. Chairman (Steve Martin) who plans to use the diamond to take over the world and sell more Acme merchandise.

DJ and Daffy arrive in Las Vegas and find Dusty Tails performing at a casino run by Yosemite Sam. Dusty gives DJ a playing card with the Mona Lisa's face on it. Yosemite Sam, working for Acme, pursues DJ and Daffy across the city, leading to a car chase with Bugs and Kate being dragged into the mayhem when DJ takes the wheel of the spy car (Danny Mann). The heroes escape via the spy car's flight ability whilst Yosemite Sam crashes into his own casino. The spy car crashes in Death Valley where the heroes conviently find a Wal-Mart thanks to Kate's desire for more product placement. Mr. Chairman sends in Wile E. Coyote to kill the heroes but he fails via a misdirected missile. The heroes wander into Area 52, Area 51 created as a "paranoid fantasy" to hide Area 52's identity, where they meet Mother (Joan Cusack), a Q-like figure who gives DJ new gadgets to help find the diamond and reveals that Acme will use the diamond to turn mankind into monkeys to create their merchandise and then turn them back so they'll buy the products. Marvin the Martian and a group of famous aliens (including 2 Daleks) attack, but the heroes escape. They conclude the next clue is in the Mona Lisa painting in Paris.

In the Louvre, the heroes discover the playing card doubles as a viewing window and find a map of Africa behind the Mona Lisa painting and take a photo on Kate's mobile phone. Elmer Fudd arrives to gain the card, turning out to be "secretly evil". Bugs and Daffy flee playfully around the museum, leaping through various famous paintings until Elmer is defeated by Bugs via a fan when he jumps out of a Pointillism painting. Mr. Smith, henchman of Mr. Chairman, steals Kate's phone. The heroes travel to Africa where they hitch a ride on an elephant ridden by Sylvester the Cat, Tweety Bird and Granny. They find the diamond and a temple, but Granny and the others reveal themselves to be Mr. Chairman, Mr. Smith and the Tasmanian Devil. Mr. Chairman uses a disintegration pistol to transport himself and the heroes to Acme Headquarters and gains the diamond. Mr Smith is revealed to be the Tasmanian she-devil.

The diamond is taken to a satellite by Marvin; Mr. Chairman explaining he will fire an energy beam worldwide which will turn everyone into monkeys aside from himself and his love interest, Mary. DJ and Kate save Damian from being killed and Wile E. Coyote blows up in a train. Bugs and Daffy chase Marvin to the satellite, and while Bugs fights Marvin, Daffy becomes Duck Dodgers and manages to destroy the satellite by plugging its dish with his beak. Bugs defeats Marvin by overloading his own bubble gun. The energy beam strikes Mr. Chairman, turning him into a monkey. Later, Daffy learns the entire adventure was part of Bugs' film, but Bugs suggests the two become equal; Daffy starts cheering until he is flattened by the Looney Tunes' title iris ironically. While Porky Pig tries to say his ending line,"Th-th-th-that's all folks," the studio starts to close. After that, when it's almost pitch black, Porky tells the audience to go home. In the credits we see drawn characters from the movie.

In the post credits scene, Daffy goes back to the casino and pulls a trick on Nasty Canasta and Cottontail Smith (The two that pair with Yosemite Sam in his casino scenes).

Cast

Live-action actors

Voice cast

Soundtrack

This was the final film Jerry Goldsmith composed music for. Due to Goldsmith's failing health, the last reel of the film was actually scored by John Debney, though Goldsmith was the only credited composer in marketing materials and the Varèse Sarabande soundtrack album only contains Goldsmith's music (although the first and last cues are adaptations of compositions heard in Warner Bros. cartoons). Debney receives an "Additional Music by" credit in the closing titles of the film and "Special Thanks" in the soundtrack album credits.[1]

  1. Life Story - Carl Stalling (:18)
  2. What’s Up? (1:24)
  3. Another Take (:48)
  4. Dead Duck Walking (3:13)
  5. Out of the Bag (3:42)
  6. Blue Monkey (:54)
  7. In Style (1:09)
  8. The Bad Guys (2:57)
  9. Car Trouble (3:45)
  10. Thin Air (1:24) ( a version of the well known Powerhouse theme is heard.)
  11. Area 52 (1:27)
  12. Hot Pursuit (2:26)
  13. We’ve Got Company (1:50)
  14. I’ll Take That (1:19)
  15. Paris Street (1:21)
  16. Free Fall (1:15)
  17. Tasmanian Devil (1:10)
  18. Jungle Scene (1:40)
  19. Pressed Duck (3:22)
  20. Re-Assembled (:50)
  21. Merry Go Round Broke Down - Cliff Friend and Dave Franklin (:16)

The following songs are heard in the movie but not on the soundtrack album:

Reception

Budgeted at $80 million, but grossing only around US$21 million (US$68 million worldwide),[2] Looney Tunes: Back in Action was a financial flop.[3] There were multiple causes to the film's demise theatrically. On the front of family films, Looney Tunes: Back in Action was sandwiched between the releases of Elf and The Cat in the Hat, resulting in Looney Tunes: Back in Action being lost in the shuffle. It should also be noted that this film was released the same month as another Warner Brothers film The Matrix Revolutions, which the studio put more advertising money behind. Only the barest minimum of promotions were done to advertise the film, limited to advertising with the film's promotional partners (Sprint, McDonald's, Aflac, among others) and very few television ads. Also, very little merchandise directly based on the film was released beyond some toys made by M and M's, a junior novelization, and a Hallmark Keepsake Ornament. However, it was more critically successful, receiving mixed to positive reviews from critics, and also was more critically successful than the previous Looney Tunes movie Space Jam.[3][4][5] As of March 28, 2011, the film scores a 56% "Rotten" rating at Rotten Tomatoes;[6] however, at Metacritic, the film ranks 64, with "generally favorable reviews".[7] The film's poor box-office results discouraged Warner Bros. from releasing the newer Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry shorts that Warner Bros. Animation had completed, and they cancelled those in production.[8]

Roger Ebert awarded the film three stars out of four.

The film was nominated for Saturn Award for Best Animated Film, Annie Award for Best Animated Feature and Satellite Award for Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature

See also

References

External links



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