Looney Tunes and its companion series Merrie Melodies began in 1930 and ran through the 1960s. During its run it introduced dozens of memorable characters, from Bosco to Road Runner with Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, Foghorn Leghorn, Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam and others in between. The series produced hundreds of theatrical shorts, but never produced a full length feature as Disney had. Warners shut down it’s cartoon division in the mid ’60s and for the ’70s outsourced the production of new cartoons to the animation studio DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, although this was limited to a few minutes of linking cartoons during their television specials. Warner finally produced a Looney Tunes feature film in 1981, The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie, which was mostly clips from old cartoon shorts with a few minutes of new linking cartoon footage. The Looney Tunes characters did not appear in a legitimate feature film until 1988’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, the success of which convinced Warner that they should one day make their own live action/cartoon interaction movie. Four years later Nike produced a commercial for Super Bowl XXVI starring Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny playing a pickup game of basketball against some bullies. The commercial was popular enough that a year later a sequel was made having Bugs and Jordan playing a game against Martians. The second commercial inspired Warner Brothers to pad the idea out to a full length feature film, resulting in the movie Space Jam. It was a huge box office hit, and Warner Brothers immediately began working on a sequel to be called Spy Jam teaming Bugs up with Jackie Chan. Production was held up by nearly five years and the movie went through several cast changes. Now with seven years distance from Space Jam Warner Brothers abandoned the sequel concept and released the film under the title Looney Tunes: Back in Action.
The verdict, this is an entertaining movie. Maybe not as entertaining as the original Looney Tunes shorts, but still a fun movie to watch. In this film Acme is an evil organization bent on world domination. Brendan Fraser is DJ Drake, a bumbling security guard who was just fired from the Warner Brothers lot for destroying their iconic water tower. Returning home he gets a message from his father who turns out to be a spy. ( Played by two time James Bond actor Timothy Dalton ) DJ’s father tells him to go to Vegas and find another spy named Dusty Tails and give her a message. This inevitably leads to adventure as DJ finds himself on a quest to recover a magic diamond capable of turning men into monkeys, a diamond that Acme is also trying to find. He is joined by Warner studio executive Kate ( Jenna Elfman ), Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny who all tag along. The only drawback here are the human actors. Brenden Fraser is not funny. Jenna Elfman is not funny. But the cartoon characters are funny. Fortunately the human characters are only half the movie. The only truly funny human actor is Steve Martin as the nerdy chairman of the Acme corporation. The opening two minutes, a reenactment of Duck Seasoning and other Daffy v.s. Bugs shorts, is by far the funniest. It is a shame that Warner Brothers insisted that all their Looney Toons features be a retread of Roger Rabbit with cartoon and human interaction. While the effects here do surpass the effects from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, it is something we have all seen before. The sad thing is that Warner had been planning to follow this movie up with cartoon only Looney Tunes features, but canceled those plans once Looney Tunes: Back in Action bombed at the box office. I blame this failure on the human participants who are the film’s weakest link, and who had made the trailers look like the film was not funny. For what it is worth, the classic Looney Tunes characters save this movie, but it could have been a lot better as a traditional animated feature.
Heather Locklear in a black latex catsuit, that is all that needs to be said. This happens at 28 minutes and unfortunately ends at 30 minutes. Inside her dressing room Heather changes out of her black sequin bustier ( first seen at 27 minutes ) and into the catsuit where she was about to join Brendan Fraser’s character on his quest to find the Blue Monkey Diamond. But some thugs intervene, and Heather is written out of the movie, although after she uses some unconvincing Kung Fu moves on a couple of cartoon thugs. The mayhem does allow for a moment when Brendan pushes Heather to the floor to protect her, which then leads to Heather lying by herself on her back, not a bad position for a girl in a catsuit to be in. But it is Jenna Elfman who is the real female lead of this movie, and she does wear a few shiny things. She shows up at 1 minute wearing a purple satin shirt, which gets completely soaked when the entire contents of the Warner Brothers Water Tower pour into her convertible. ( This happens at 8 minutes. ) She also wears a light blue leather jacket at 21 minutes, and a pink satin gown starting at 24 minutes, but you do not see the full outfit until 40 minutes. The real highlight for Jenna in this movie is a tight black leather miniskirt she wears at 50 minutes. And it is also worth noting that an unidentified extra is wearing a red leather mini dress at 59 minutes.