Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pull The Switch!

A hilarious twist on the classic monster movie, Igor tells the story of one Igor (John Cusack) who's sick of being a lowly lab assistant with a Yes Master's degree and dreams of becoming a scientist. When his cruel master Dr. Glickenstien (John Cleese) kicks the bucket a week before the annual Evil Science Fair, Igor finally gets his chance. With the help of two of his experimental creations - Brain (Sean Hayes), a brain in a jar who's a little light on brains, and Scamper (Steve Buscemi), a cynical bunny brought back from being road kill, Igor embarks on building the most evil invention of all time, a huge, ferocious monster. Unfortunately, instead of turning out evil, the monster turns out as Eva (Molly Shannon), a giant aspiring actress who wouldn't hurt a fly. Just when the load on his back can't get any heavier, Igor and his band of monstrous misfits uncover an evil plot that threatens their world lead by scientist Dr. Schadenfreude (Eddie Izzard) and his assistant Heidi (Jennifer Coolidge). Now, they must fight to save it and prove that heroes come in all shapes and sizes.

The voice cast, led by Cusack, all sound as though they're totally committed to the world of mad scientists and Igors and weird creatures. Cusack pours it on as a thoroughly decent guy stuck in a world where everything must be evil. Voicing the gigantic Eva, Shannon brings a mix of sweetness and diva-ish attitude to a creature with looks only a mother could love. Buscemi and Hayes really made out in that their characters, Brain and Scamper, deliver the best lines and have the most energy onscreen. They're so entertaining they deserve their own spin-off. What can be funnier than an immortal bunny rabbit that continues to try and kill himself only to be miraculously resurrected seconds later? Or a mini buddy with his brain in a jar who just happens to not be that smart (a name tag on his jar written by him says 'Brian') In the country of Malaria (love that name) where these creatures dwell, it's all about being evil. But despite what sounds like a dark and scary tone, Igor's actually a light-hearted comedy that's surprisingly sweet. Igor's an unexpectedly touching, enjoyable romp through a world of bizarre and creepy creatures, and definitely more original than a lot of the animated fare distributed by major studios. A lighthearted kiddie movie with plenty of jokes aimed for parents as well. A nice treat for all. A ghoulish 4 on my "Go See" scale.

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