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  Publicity Stills of
(Courtesy of GV)

Genre: Animation
Director: Tony Leondis
Cast: John Cusack, Steve Buscemi, John Cleese, Jennifer Coolidge, Arsenio Hall, Sean Hayes, Eddie Izzard, Jay Leno, James Lipton, Molly Shannon, Christian Slater
RunTime:1 hr 26 mins
Released By: GV
Rating: PG
Official Website: http://www.igor-movie.com/

Opening Day: 11 December 2008


In a land of mad scientists and diabolical inventions, what do you do when you're born with a hunch on your back?

You become an Igor.

A hilarious twist on the classic monster movie, "Igor" tells the story of one Igor 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 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, a brain in a jar who's a little light on brains, and Scamper, 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, 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. Now, they must fight to save it and prove that heroes come in all shapes and sizes.

Movie Review:

The land of Malaria is forever shrouded with dark menacing clouds. It is a place where evil scientists hide behind the tall walls of their castles planning and executing various fiendish experiments aided by slurring hunchbacked servants known as Igors. Truly it is not a pretty world. The same can be said of this movie.

Its main character is a particular Igor (John Cusack), who unlike his other dull peers, has great plans to become an evil scientist himself. When his incompetent master dies from a freak accident, Igor grabs the opportunity to invent his own diabolical creation- a huge female Frankenstein called Eva that to his dismay, turns out to be gentle and kind.

Besides the precocious Igor, there’s also his two sidekicks, both of which suffice to say are unlikely to be any child’s favourite character anytime soon. The first is a scrawny rabbit blessed (or cursed, depending on which way you look at it) with Igor’s invincibility formula and spends his days finding ways to commit suicide. The other is a brain in a jar attached to a lower body that looks like the tube of a vacuum cleaner.

Yes Igor ain’t pretty. But that’s not the only thing that makes it hard to like. It doesn’t take much imagination for one to sniff more than a whiff of familiarity between Igor and Tim Burton’s animations. The Gothic setting of Igor seems awfully similar to Tim Burton’s dark-hearted fables and its characters look like they walked out of The Nightmare Before Christmas or Corpse Bride.
But Igor is far from likely to join the ranks of Tim Burton’s classics- primarily because of its underdeveloped story and flat characters. While its opening premise is interesting, the script by American Dad contributor Chris McKenna fails to expand on this diabolical world that we are introduced to; nor its various characters that at first seems mildly interesting but ultimately ends up being monotonous.

Instead, Igor is peppered with many pop-culture references that are unlikely to be appreciated by a younger audience- the highlight of which is an inadvertent change of channel that has Igor’s hulking female monster Eva watching “Inside the Actors Studio” host James Lipton talking about how to act like a screen siren (a la Vivien Leigh in A Streetcar Named Desire) instead of violent shoot-em-ups supposed to turn Eva malevolent.

As if acknowledging that the tots are likely to get bored, director Tony Leondis keeps the movie moving at a zippy pace in an attempt to keep them occupied. But even that and an ensemble cast of vocal performances including John Cusack, Steve Buscemi, Sean Hayes, Molly Shannon and Eddie Izzard cannot detract from the one-dimensional story and characters; or its weak attempts at moralizing (“It’s better to be a good nobody than an evil somebody!”).

For an animated movie designed to be a comedy, perhaps an audience with nary a chuckle or laugh is akin to sounding its death knell. That is what happened at the screening I attended. And it’s not hard to understand why. Not cute enough for kids; and not smart enough for adults, Igor is likely to leave its audience in the cold.

Movie Rating:

(Like its traditional master Frankenstein, this Igor is unlikely to find much love or affection)

Review by Gabriel Chong


. Space Chimps (2008)

. Happily N'ever After (2007)

. Monster House (2006)

. Hoodwinked (2006)

. Corpse Bride (2005)

. Valiant (2005)

. Back to Gaya (2004)




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