Tuesday, November 18, 2008

IGOR: It's So Tim Burtonish

IGOR (animated comedy)
Voice cast: John Cusack, Steve Buscemi, Jennifer Coolidge, John Cleese and Jay Leno
Director: Tony Leondis
Time: 86 mins

Rating: * * 1/2
(out of 4)

Igor and Eva

Remember the Frankenstein story where Igor, the hunchback lab assistant, gets to do all
the dirty work but none of the glory? Well, this movie is about one 'Igor' who is not content to be just a sidekick. He has dreams of becoming a mad scientist himself!

Yeah, it is very 'Tim Burtonish' and the graphics have the feel of 'Corpse Bride' and 'Nightmare Before Christmas'
but not their dark, macabre tone. In other words, it is quite safe for children but a bit weak for the Halloween-party crowd.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT? In an imaginary land called Malaria, the creation of evil monsters is encouraged by King
Malbert (voice of Jay Leno). Every year, the mad scientists, with the help of their subservient Igors, prepare for the annual science contest to show off their accomplishments. The winning design is then used by Malbert to blackmail the rest of the world into filling the kingdom's coffers.

This year, the scheming Schadenfreude (Eddie Izzard) and his shape-shifting girlfriend, Jaclyn (Jennifer Coolidge)
are ready to take home the gold again. When Igor (John Cusack) finds his master Dr Glickenstein (John Cleese) undone by his own stupidity, he comes up with a special offering: a humongous disfigured monster named Eva (Molly Shannon). However, Igor is shocked to find that Eva is a kindly soul who wants to become an actress - and not the nefarious monster that she is meant to be.

HITS & MISSES: Basically, 'Igor' is a one-joke spoof about hunchbacked sidekicks. Director Anthony Leondis (of 'Lilo And Stitch 2'), provides a few moments of macabre mischief for us to enjoy before letting mediocrity set in. He tries too hard to ape previous morbid comedies and not focusing on the problems at hand. However, it is blessed with a great vocal cast. Cusack provides the suitable human frustration to the title role, while his companions, Brain (Sean Hayes) and Scamper (Steve Buscemi), get the laughs.

Expectedly, British veterans Cleese and Izzard see their roles as a licence go way over-the-top as mad scientists
Dr Glickenstein and Dr Schadenfreude. Christian Slater plays Schadenfreude's Igor, while Saturday Night Live's Molly Shannon seems to be having a great time bringing the Broadway-bound Eva to life.

THE LOWDOWN: Not in the league of 'Wall-E' but just watchable.


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