Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA/France, 2008. Exodus Film Group, Exodus Productions, The Weinstein Company. Screenplay by Chris McKenna, additional screenplay material by John Hoffman, Anthony Leondis, Dimitri Toscas. Produced by John D. Eraklis, Max Howard. Music by Patrick Doyle. Production Design by Loic Rastout. Film Editing by Herve Schneid, Pam Ziegenhagen.
You know all about mad scientists and their assistants who are usually named Igor, but did you know that there is a land that they all come from? The land of Malaria was once a happy kingdom but has darkened in the years since its economic decline, covered perpetually by clouds and enjoying the profits of monstrous inventions as its main industry. Every year mad scientists, aided by their Igors, aim to achieve the highest honour in terrifying creations. This year, one particular Igor (voiced by John Cusack) finally gets his dream of being a creator in his own right when his employer unexpectedly evaporates and he is given the opportunity to put his talents to the test. Villainy isn’t far behind, however, when the evil Dr. Schadenfreude (Eddie Izzard) tries to steal Igor’s invention in an effort to not only promote himself but also prevent the natural order of things from being perverted. Lots of thinly veiled commentary on American politics, particularly Bush-era critiques, none of which would be problematic if the film’s story were less pedestrian and more involving. The animation is highly attractive (if familiar, we’ve all seen The Nightmare Before Christmas) and the voice work strong, but there’s really nothing particularly memorable about it otherwise. The best laughs come from Steve Buscemi and Sean Hayes as Igor’s hilarious assistant/creations.