A staple of any family oriented animated film, past, present and I'm certain continuing into the future, is that it must appeal to both old and young alike. This can represent any sort of balance of splendid animation that stimulate the senses, pop culture references that give the adults a guffaw and of course generally competent film-making. Not only does Igor fail spectacularly at reaching a broad audience spectrum but fails at almost every other tier of film-making at the same time. To be blunt, I am a sucker for animated films. Looking over my archive of films viewed in the past, animated features are the one genre of movie that continues to be of a solid calibre. There are obvious missteps, such as with films like as Madagascar, but with the creative minds associated with studios like Pixar, Disney and the finally blossoming Dreamworks, who pump out a few flicks each a year, achieving widespread failure is difficult. Not only did I essentially hate Igor, but it is one of, if not the worst animated film I have witnessed. In its attempt to appeal to the masses, Igor plays it dark and sinister and boasts a similar vibe to the Gil Kenan faux pas Monster House and as such will not find an audience with children. At the other end of the table, director Anthony Leondis effort to insert inside jokes and mature humour falters complimentary to the former, as none of these jests are particularly insightful nor funny and results in a mediocre experience all round. In summation, we have a film that kids will not understand, and that adults will simply find to be a poor movie. I was continually surprised by the macabre and depressing components of Igor, and would most likely make even Tim Burton squirm. Even a simple plot summary reveals the bleakness and sometimes unnerving subject matter that it evident here. In the cloud consumed land of Malaria, evil reigns. The black-hearted King Malbert (Jay Leno) encourages widespread acts of evil and malice over the entire kingdom. In this dark place, the scientific community are represented by half-dozen or so prestigious, but mad scientists. Looming on the horizon however, is the yearly evil science fair in which the most brilliant minds compete to create the most evil invention imaginable. Malaria is land of quirky and eccentric creatures, bizarre architecture, as well as being a place where "Igor" is no longer a name, but a verb. Every mad scientist has their own "Igor", which essentially pertains to their hideous appearance and servant-like place in society who exist solely to "pull the switch". In this specific Igor's (John Cusack) castle, it is the hunchbacked sidekick that is the true brains behind the operation, so to speak. His master Dr. Glickenstein (John Cleese) continues to falter and does not heed the advice of his subordinate or that of Igor's creations including a robot named Brain (Sean Hayes) although labelled with permanent marker incorrectly, much to his chagrin, as "Brian" and Scamper (Steve Buscemi) a suicidal reanimated rabbit. (Yes, you heard me; he continually and morbidly commits suicide throughout the film. Oh, and did I mention his is immortal?) After a disastrous failed experiment Glickenstein is killed, and Igor excitedly takes the reigns to ensure victory over his invention stealing nemesis Dr. Schadenfreude (Eddie Izzard) and floozy sidekick Jaclyn (Jennifer Coolidge). His dream is to create a life of pure evil, and in true Frankenstein fashion, he constructs a large and hideous monster named Eva. (Derived from a mispronounced "evil", but also eerily similar to the name of WALL·E's love interest, Eve in summers vastly superior film) The one small problem
Eva is not eva enough, and thus is useless for his competition. Yet after befriending the creature, he is torn between achieving the respect of colleges, and finding what may be love. With elements of violent death, suicidal rabbits, betrayal and general emphasis on evil, such a macabre take on the popular "Hang in there" poster, featuring the cat clinging to a clothes line, which this time round features a dead cat dangling from a noose. At the conclusion there is the essential moral teaching about being who you want to be and thus forth, but the ride is not a fun one to be on. Despite the lean running time the storyline seems fragmented and meanders wildly at times. Scene stealing moments by Buscemi can't save the failed multi-generational gimmick and mediocre voice work from the remaining cast; this is not prime family entertainment and like its protagonist, will end up being an outcast itself.
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