- Directed by Tim Hill
- March 27, 2011 (Universal Studios Hollywood) / April 1, 2011 (US)
- Frederick “Fred” O’Hare-James Marsden
- Samantha “Sam” O’Hare-Kaley Cuoco
- Henry O’Hare-Gary Cole
- Bonnie O’Hare-Elizabeth Perkins
- Alexandra “Alex” O’Hare-Tiffany Espensen
- David Hasselhoff-David Hasselhoff
- Mrs. Beck-Chelsea Handler
- E.B.-Russell Brand
- Carlos, Phil-Hank Azaria
- Mr. Bunny (credited as “E.B.’s Dad”)-Hugh Laurie
- Voice at Playboy Mansion-Hugh Hefner
The Easter Bunny’s son heads to Hollywood to become a drummer in a band and is taken in by an out-of-work slacker after he gets hit with his car. That is a really crappy sounding plot.
If you’re looking for mindless entertainment, then Hop is the place to go. It’s an entertaining movie but it’s just bad. You watch it and feel guilty for actually having watched it. It stumbles around from weird bit to weird bit and maintains an almost sitcom feel from start to finish. And I am really not sure what they were thinking at points.
In this movie-which is ostensibly a family film-they sing “I Want Candy”. It is a song covered by numerous groups, but it is not a song about eating candy. And for some reason the Bow Wow Wow version is just a little dirtier. Did nobody actually read the lyrics before they cleared the song for this film? The candy that is being sought is not jellybeans or gum drops.
The plot of Hop boils down to a rebellious child that doesn’t want to follow in the family legacy. Though honestly based on what they said in the opening narration anybody could be the East Bunny. All rabbits dream of being the Easter Bunny comes across as loud and clear in that narration and after that it quickly pivots to the role of Easter Bunny being a family thing handed down from father to his son. They don’t say that part but E.B.’s father is the Easter Bunny and his grandfather was the Easter Bunny and his dad wants to hand the title to him so it definitely sounds like this is a family thing.
This movie has a bit of a Fred Claus feel to it. It’s not a one-to-one translation but there is enough of a vibe that it feels like they did a little judicious editing and made that script into an Easter film. Heck the Easter Bunny even has a sleigh pulled by chicks and when he flies off he calls them out by their names which are not the same names as Santa’s 12 reindeer.
James Marsden plays Fred O’Hare who is a guy that saw the Easter Bunny as a kid and then became a slacker. He kept a chocolate bunny for 20 years that the Easter Bunny gave him for reasons. Not to ruin anything but it’s told in the opening of the movie that he becomes the first human Easter Bunny but how this connects to what happened as a kid just does not work. It’s like they needed an excuse to connect elements in the film and scribbled this in at the last minute.
E.B. (Russell Brand) is the 90s edgy kid who is all set to inherit the mantle of the Easter Bunny but doesn’t want it. He wants to become a drummer. He just kind of goofs around the film and avoids the whole responsibility until he decides “Yeah I’ll do it.” At what point does he see this as something he must be a part of? I do not see that change of heart moment.
David Hasselhoff shows up as himself and is the host of a show called Hoff Knows Talent. Hasselhoff is a weird meta version of himself. You’re not sure if he’s deranged or he actually did costar with an actual talking car. And it’s not done in a fun way that pokes at reality. It’s done in a way that maybe they weren’t sure what they were doing here.
There’s also a nice bit of meta casting when Russell Brand shows up as a stagehand and interacts with E.B. It was good for a laugh. Honestly this movie feels a little bit like it was a well-produced television movie and not a theatrical release. We have Kaley Cuoco as Fred’s younger sister Samantha “Sam” O’Hare, Gary Cole as Fred’s father Henry O’Hare, Elizabeth Perkins as Fred’s mother Bonnie O’Hare, Tiffany Espensen as Fred’s adoptive younger sister Alexandra “Alex” O’Hare, and Chelsea Handler as video game company employee and Fred’s interviewer Mrs. Beck. Gary Cole can be a good actor given the right part but Kaley Cuoco is always Penny from The Big Bang Theory.
The villain of all this is a chick named Carlos (Hank Azaria) who is the Easter Bunny’s second in command on Easter Island. I’m talking the Easter Island because of course that’s where the Easter Bunny lives. He seeks to take the mantle of being the Easter Bunny for himself. Why? He thinks there needs to be change and he is tired of playing second banana.
The Easter Bunny here has a whole army of elves, I mean chicks, who make candy and prep for Easter Sunday all year. You know the more I think about it the more I don’t know if this was a rip off or judicious rewriting of Fred Claus but it certainly feels like a bad Christmas movie the more I talk about it. Was somebody pushing a deadline and stole the Fred Claus script?
The Pink Berets who are described by E.B. as the Easter Bunny’s Royal Guard (which lends further credence to ‘Easter Bunny’ being a passed down title and not something everybody can do as stated in the opening narration) were a weird yet entertaining touch. I just don’t think their part was big enough and that the concept was more than a bit wasted.
For kids Hop is not bad but for adults you might make it through once. I’m not saying it’s unbelievably terrible but it’s definitely not a must-see film. It however is not to be sought out.