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Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)

5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 18,652 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 152 user | 99 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

The Looney Tunes search for a man's missing father and the mythical Blue Monkey diamond.

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Cast

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Storyline

Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck are up to their feuding ways again. Tired of playing second fiddle to Bugs, Daffy has decided to leave the Studio for good. He is aided by Warner Bros.' humor impaired Vice President of Comedy, Kate Houghton, who releases him from his contract and instructs WB security guard/aspiring stunt man DJ Drake to capture and "escort" Daffy off the studio lot. Suddenly a sidekick without a hero, the duck decides to ally himself with DJ, whether he likes it or not. Consequently, Daffy is on the scene when DJ discovers that his famous movie star father was Damian Drake, known for playing suave international spies onscreen, is actually a suave international spy in real life--and has been kidnapped by the evil insane nerdy, prancing villain known as Mr. Chairman of the equally nefarious Acme Corporation. It seems that Damian knows the whereabouts of the mysterious magical and powerful Blue Monkey Diamond, and the Chairman will do anything to get his hands on it! With ... Written by Anthony Pereyra (hypersonic91yahoo.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

diamond | duck | spy | monkey | stuntman | See more »

Taglines:

Real life has never been so animated See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some mild language and innuendo | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

14 November 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Looney Tunes Back in Action: The Movie  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£926,447 (UK) (13 February 2004)

Gross:

£5,153,828 (UK) (19 March 2004)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Steve Martin read the script and would only do the film on one condition, in the scene where aliens chase Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny, a Dalek (from Doctor Who (1963)) is one of the aliens used. Warner Bros. accepted. See more »

Goofs

When traveling into the African bush, the main characters ride on an Asian elephant. See more »

Quotes

[the aliens in Area 52 are surrounding them]
Daffy Duck: Yipes! Illegal aliens!
Dalek: Exterminate Them!
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the end credits, rough pencil test animation from the movie is shown. See more »

Connections

References Don't Give Up the Sheep (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

If You Want It To Be Good Girl (Get Yourself A Bad Boy)
Written by R.J. Lange
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Slam dunks "Space Jam" and outdoodles "Cool World"
22 November 2003 | by (Houston, TX) – See all my reviews

Ever since "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" hit theaters in 1988, Hollywood has tried to replicate the formula of placing animated characters in the real world and vice-versa. "Space Jam" was loved when first released but now seems like a feature length commercial for Michael Jordan's career. "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle" worked on a spot-the-cameo level but little else. "Cool World" has for the most part blissfully faded from memory.

Then along comes "Looney Tunes: Back in Action" and does the impossible - it manages to be funny, entertaining and lively while still slowing things down at times to be insightful. Loaded with numerous celebrities mugging for the camera, satirical jabs at Hollywood and pop cultural references out the ying-yang, the movie has the true frantic nature of a cartoon.

Daffy Duck (voice of Joe Alaskey) has become fed up by constantly playing second banana to Bugs Bunny (also Alaskey) for the past six decades. He makes an ultimatum - either he gets equal billing and pay alongside Bugs, or he's out of there. Warner Bros. Vice President Kate Houghton (Jenna Elfman) promptly gives the duck the boot, and while vindictively wrecking havoc on the studio lot, Daffy hooks up with ne'er do well security guard D.J. Drake (Brendan Fraser) who happens to be the son of famous movie spy Damian Drake (Timothy Dalton).

D.J. is fired as well for not be able to stop Daffy's rampage, and reluctantly goes home with the duck in tow. However, things go crazy when he discovers that his father really is a spy and has been captured by the evil President of the ACME Corporation (Steve Martin). D.J must take up his father's mission of seeking the Blue Monkey Diamond, a mystical jewel that - like all mystical items in such movies - can be deadly in the wrong hands. Daffy's eyes naturally light up with greed at the sound of the word diamond and joins D.J.

Meanwhile, Kate is facing her own dismissal following less then stellar studio reviews of the latest Bugs cartoon without Daffy, and must track down the duck with Bugs' help to convince him to return. The four unlikely heroes team up to stop ACME, save Damian Drake and patch up Bugs and Daffy's fractured partnership.

A lot of love went into this product and it shows. Some of the best jokes are attacks on numerous sensitivity issues that protest groups have mounted against cartoons in the past few decades. Porky Pig and Speedy Gonzalez lament the effect that political correctness is having on their careers while Daffy is told that his constant complaining makes him appealing only to angry bald men who live in basements.

Sight gags rain in as well, the most memorable being a wonderfully conceived scene in the Louvre Museum in Paris where Elmer Fudd chases Bugs and Daffy in and out of numerous famous paintings like "The Scream" and "Persistence of Memory."

The voice acting here is all near perfect. Alaskey does a much better job imitating Mel Blanc's famous Bugs Bunny voice then Billy West did in "Space Jam." Bugs is still the street smart Brooklyn hustler he has always been, and adds a nice bit of levity to the proceedings.

Daffy is still delightfully conceited and selfish, though in a nice change of pace he is actually allowed to be heroic at some points. Also, it should be noted that while Bugs clearly control every scene he's in, this in indeed Daffy's movie and he carries it well.

Fraser has a strong enough presence to play alongside cartoon characters but doesn't have much to do in the humor department. We're reminded that like in "Dudley Do-Right," Fraser just can't make a character funny without decent lines.

Elfman is also lively but remains wallpaper to her animated co-stars, as she should. Dalton on the other hand manages to be serious and goofy at the same time, and seems to be having a great time spoofing his own James Bond character.

But it's Martin who really puts in a performance here, playing the ACME President with a combination of Jim Carrey's loose-limbed gait and Robin Williams' rapid-fire dialogue. He's a truly unique character for Martin to play, a live action cartoon competing for screen time with Bugs and the others. Martin makes him Dr. Evil as played by Jerry Lewis.

Director Joe Dante films this with the same tongue-in-cheek abandon that he used to bring "Gremlins" and "The Howling" to life. The movie's success owes much to his respect for cartoons, and his desire to undo the harm that "Space Jam" did to the characters is a breath of fresh air.

Along with fellow Warner Bros. characters like Wile E. Coyote, Pepe Le Pew and Sylvester the Cat, the movie also makes room for cameos by wrestler Bill Goldberg, Joan Cusack and even legendary B-movie schlockmeister Roger Corman.

"Looney Tunes: Back in Action" lacks the same originality that made "Roger Rabbit" immortal, but still has the energy and wit to remain memorable for decades to come. The movie twists the legends of the Warner stable while still honoring their personalities, and as such the movie works as both an homage to and a wink-at-the-audience spoof of the classic cartoons. It's a movie even Daffy will love.

Eight out of ten stars. Funny toons makes up for some lifeless actors, and the Looney Tunes legacy is returned to its former glory. Nothing despicable here.


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