Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Igor - DVD Review

IGOR (**1/2) - Starring the voices of John Cusack, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, Sean Hayes, Eddie Izzard, Jennifer Coolidge, Jay Leno, John Cleese, James Lipton, Arsenio Hall and Christian Slater.
Directed by Tony Leondis.

This movie was just funny enough that it disappointed me it couldn't figure out how to be funnier, if that makes sense.

Plot: In the kingdom of Malaria, dark clouds constantly encompass the sky. The king's idea to save the economy is to have his best evil scientists create inventions of destruction, and then blackmail neighboring countries to pay them to not unleash them. Also in this kingdom, if you're born with a hunchback, you are an igor. Apparently all igors are named Igor, and they train to be helpers of mad scientists. Said help usually amounts to pulling the switch when the mad scientist commands it.

Our Igor, voiced by John Cusack, happens to be smart and dreams of becoming a mad scientist. After his master suffers an accident, Igor does what no one else in Malaria has ever done - he creates life, putting together a Bride-of-Frankenstein creation. Only problem is, she's not evil. She's actually nice.

Pros: Steve Buscemi voices Scamper, a rabbit that Igor made immortal. This rabbit hates his life and wishes he were dead, but he can't die. Scamper has all the funny lines and the best sight gags. The other sidekick is Brain, a not-too-smart brain in a jar, voiced by Sean Hayes, and he gets some smiles in his own right.

Cons: The look borrows heavily - heavily! - from The Nightmare Before Christmas. The king here is a doppleganger for TNBC's mayor. The soundtrack relies way too much on oldies' tunes. The humor is Shrekian, with a couple vulgar gags and a lot of self-aware pop-culture humor. Where is this magical kingdom where their TV reception can pick up Inside the Actors Studio?

So there we are. I enjoyed Scamper and wanted him to have even more lines. The rest of it's fairly forgettable.

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