Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cool World (1992) Review:

I've always been a fan of real people being on camera with cartoon characters. Either living in the same or different universes, the concept is fun to think and imagine about. But of course, there has to be professional work involved. And the problem with Cool World is that much of it looks unpolished. There are other examples before and after this that show animation can look really slick. The best role model would be Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), then comes others like Space Jam (1996) and Looney Tunes: Back In Action (2003). There's no dimension between what's real and cartoons; everything is 2D.

Jack Deebs & Holli Would, the couple I found less interesting
Even more surprising is how uninteresting the cartoon characters look. The only two characters that make themselves the attention grabbers are the curvaceous Holli Would played by Kim Basinger, and Lonette voiced by Candi Milo. The rest of the characters are eye soars. It's weird too because Holli Would and Lonette are the only too human-like characters that are in the universe of Cool World. Every thing else are animal-like creatures that have perverted minds. Plus that doesn't make them very funny.

The main plot is the creator of Cool World, Jack Deebs, acted by Gabriel Byrne, is dragged into the universe he created. The reason for being pulled into Cool World is that his favorite creation, Holli Would, wants to become human. But the only way she can become human is by having sex with another human,...or as they call it in Cool World,  a "Noid". And the person who polices this crime is Detective Frank Harris, played by Brad Pitt. All these actors do their jobs but nothing is done to make them stand out from other movies.

Lonette & Harris,...the couple I found more interesting
There were a couple things I did like but I didn't get enough of. I enjoyed the musical score produced Mark Isham. Much of it is jazzy with the saxophone always resounding in the background. I also felt more of an attraction to the personal connection between Harris and Lonette. Whenever they were on screen together, I wanted to see more between them than just arguments about how Harris being careless at his job. These two characters had potential and director Ralph Bakshi had minimal work done for them. Very disappointing.

Lastly, it’s very difficult to figure out who's the protagonist and antagonist in this story. At first, it feels like Holli Would is the innocent one and Harris is holding her back. And then the end of the film switches the roles. And it's also mentioned at the end of the film that Harris is the hero yet Byrne's character was the hero and was never thanked. For writers Michael Grais and Mark Victor, I don't understand how any of this made sense. I was hoping to get a different experience but all I got was unpleasantness.

The characterizations are confusing and the animation is sloppy. The only parts that stand out are Isham's music and the relationship between Harris and Lonette.

Points Earned --> 5:10

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