Looney Tunes: Back in Action
|Looney Tunes: Back in Action|
|Directed by||Joe Dante|
|Produced by||Bernie Goldman
|Written by||Larry Doyle|
|Music by||Jerry Goldsmith|
|Editing by||Rick Finney
|Studio||Baltimore Spring Creek Productions
Warner Bros. Animation
Lonely Film Productions GmbH & Co. KG.
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Running time||92 minutes|
Looney Tunes: Back in Action is a 2003 American live action/animated adventure comedy film directed by Joe Dante, written by Larry Doyle, and starring Brendan Fraser. The film is the second live-action feature-length starring the Looney Tunes characters, the first being Space Jam (1996). It was also the last film to feature a score by veteran composer Jerry Goldsmith before his death in 2004.
Tired of playing second fiddle to Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck demands his own movie from the Warner Bros. only to be fired by VP of Comedy, Kate Houghton (Jenna Elfman). DJ Drake (Brendan Fraser), son of action star Damian Drake, 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 water tower 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 father (who actually IS a super spy) to go to Las Vegas to find a woman named Dusty Tails (Heather Locklear) 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. Then Yosemite Sam, working for Acme, attacks the three and his goons chase DJ and Daffy across the city (after Yosemite Sam "commandeers" Jeff Gordon's famed #24 NASCAR), leading to a car chase with Bugs and Kate being dragged into the mayhem when DJ takes the wheel of the spy car. 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 conveniently 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 two Daleks from Doctor Who and Ro-Man from Robot Monster) 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 pointillist painting. Mr. Smith, henchman of Mr. Chairman, kidnaps Kate and steals her phone, and by extension, the map. 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, the studio starts to close. Just before all the lights are turned completely off, Porky tells the audience to go home.
- Brendan Fraser as D.J. Drake
- Jenna Elfman as Kate Houghton
- Steve Martin as Mr. Chairman
- Heather Locklear as Dusty Tails
- Joan Cusack as Mother
- Timothy Dalton as Damien Drake
- Joe Alaskey as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Sylvester, Beaky Buzzard and Mama Bear
- Jeff Bennett as Foghorn Leghorn, Yosemite Sam and Nasty Canasta
- Bob Bergen as Porky Pig
- June Foray as Granny
- Brendan Fraser as the Tasmanian Devil and Tasmanian She-Devil
- Eric Goldberg as Marvin the Martian, Speedy Gonzales and Tweety Bird
- Bruce Lanoil as Pepé Le Pew
- Billy West as Elmer Fudd and Peter Lorre
- Mel Blanc as Gremlin Car (archive sound)
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.
- Life Story - Carl Stalling (:18)
- What's Up? (1:24)
- Another Take (:48)
- Dead Duck Walking (3:13)
- Out of the Bag (3:42)
- Blue Monkey (:54)
- In Style (1:09)
- The Bad Guys (2:57)
- Car Trouble (3:45)
- Thin Air (1:24) (a version of the well known Powerhouse theme is heard)
- Area 52 (1:27)
- Hot Pursuit (2:26)
- We've Got Company (1:50)
- I'll Take That (1:19)
- Paris Street (1:21)
- Free Fall (1:15)
- Tasmanian Devil (1:10)
- Jungle Scene (1:40)
- Pressed Duck (3:22)
- Re-Assembled (:50)
- The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down (Cliff Friend and Dave Franklin) (:16)
Several scenes were deleted from the movie during post-production, and some weren't completely animated. Some are available for viewing on the DVD. They include:
- An alternate opening where Daffy in a proposal for their next movie, takes on the role of Batduck, with Elmer Fudd as the bad guy: the scene is rejected by the Warner executives due to the fact that Daffy kills Elmer, and also that Elmer doesn't want to be a clown, as he's afraid of them.
- Several romance scenes featuring Kate and DJ, such as scenes in a desert, or an extra scene at the temple.
- Extra alien scenes during the Area 52 battle, mainly featuring the Daleks.
- A scene at the Eiffel Tower where DJ buys Eiffel Tower paperweights and continuously throws them at Mr. Smith.
- More humorous scenes featuring Kate.
- A scene where the Rhetorical Questions VP (played by Robert Picardo) asks a rhetorical question without hitting his buzzer, resulting in him getting wrapped in plastic wrap.
- Several gag scenes featuring Daffy.
- An alternate ending where Damian Drake somehow ends up at the temple and DJ turns him into a monkey. Kate then uses the diamond accidentally on Bugs, who turns into his original pre-1940s persona, and then into a Neanderthal-like Bunny. Daffy takes the diamond, and accidentally turns Kate into a cavewoman. Daffy ends up turning himself into an egg. Mr. Smith, who is about to strangle Damian, then leaves because his factory whistle went off. Mr. Chairman then takes out the Tasmanian Devil to attack Damian. Damian then uses the diamond to launch Tweety (supposedly) to his doom in a pool of lava. It is then revealed that this turned Tweety into a dinosaur. Mr. Chairman recites "Aba-dee-aba-dee-aba-dee...That's all folks!" before getting eaten.
Despite the film's financial disaster, critical response for Looney Tunes: Back in Action was mixed to positive, making it more critically successful than the previous Looney Tunes film Space Jam. The film scored a 56% "Rotten" rating at Rotten Tomatoes, whilst at Metacritic, it scored a 64/100.
The two well-known Chicago Sun-Times movie critics Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper gave the film "Two Thumbs Up"; Roeper called it a "cheerful and self-referential romp blending animation with live action in a non-stop quest for silly laughs," while Ebert called it "goofy fun."
Along with the positive critical response, the film was also nominated for Saturn Award for Best Animated Film, Annie Award for Best Animated Feature and Satellite Award for Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature.
- "Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 25, 2008.
- Looney Tunes: Back in Action soundtrack review at Filmtracks.com. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
- Beck, Jerry (2005). The Animated Movie Guide.
- "Looney Tunes: Back in Action". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
- "Looney Tunes: Back in Action Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
- "Looney Tunes: Back in Action :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews". Rogerebert.suntimes.com. Retrieved October 29, 2012.
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