James Marsden treats his new friend Hop (voiced by Russell Brand) to a treat.

James Marsden treats his new friend Hop (voiced by Russell Brand) to a treat.

AISLE SEAT: Hop delivers schlock for Easter

  • Apr. 10, 2011 3:00 p.m.

If nothing else, Hop will have little competition in the cutesy department when it comes to becoming a staple for Easter viewing.

While there are some brilliant (and far more substantial) Easter films out there, well, branding  them as “cuddly” would indeed be a reach.

Unfortunately, Hop is especially dumb fluff. The ingredients here include a little bit Harvey, a whole lot The Santa Clause, a pinch of Alvin and the Chipmunks and just to give the batter a cringe factor, a swirl of The Cat In The Hat.

I can see wee ones liking but perhaps not LOVING this tale about the Easter Bunny, if only because the little carrot-muncher is the most selfish ball of fuzz to come bouncing along in recent memory.

The story opens on Easter Island, where the reigning Easter Bunny (voice of House himself, Hugh Laurie) oversees a Willy Wonka-type operation of chicks and bunnies slapping together the candy-filled baskets that he delivers to children around the world. With retirement looming for Mr. Bunny, he’s looking to pass the torch to his son E.B. (Russell Brand), but the teen rabbit has little desire to succeed his father –– he’d rather be a rock star.

We shift scenes to California, where another parental disappointment, Fred O’Hare (James Marsden), a 20-something slacker, is trying to figure out what to do with his life. Enter E.B. through a magical one-way rabbit hole, and after the creature completely trashes what little there is of poor Fred’s life, the unlikely duo work together to try and nab their respective dreams.

There’s more, of course. The Easter Bunny’s right-hand peep, a conniving chick named Carlos (Hank Azaria), plans a coup, and E.B. enters a talent competition hosted by David Hasselhoff, who, funny enough, paired with an animated character, looks more at home than he does when he’s sharing the screen with real-life actors.

Hop is junk food, plain and simple, which shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, since the flick often looks more like a Hershey’s commercial than a movie.  Me thinks some-bunny’s cashing in here.

The feature is currently playing at Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

–– Jason Armstrong is the movie reviewer for The Morning Star. His column appears every Friday and Sunday.