The Cinefessions crew loves sharing their opinions on films, but not every movie can get the attention it deserves with a full review. Enter the Cinefessions’ Capsule Reviews. These capsule reviews cover five of the most important aspects of a film, which allow the crew to deliver their opinions on any movie clearly, decisively, and with brevity. These are not our full thoughts on any film, just a highlighting of the major pros and/or cons.


Who Framed Roger RabbitTitle: Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Runtime: 104 minutes

Acting
The late, great Bob Hoskins has never put up a bad role, has he? Even his work as Mario in Super Mario Bros., though a movie that many dislike, is fun to watch. The film that really made me fall in love with Hoskins, though, was Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. Hoskins leads the way in Roger Rabbit, and he’s a hell of a lot of fun to watch alongside the animated toons. His chemistry with Roger Rabbit is really special, and made even better by the fact that he’s acting alongside nothing because the titular rabbit is clearly an animated cartoon. Christopher Lloyd plays the antagonist, and this isn’t my favorite role of his, but he does a decent job handling the material. The voice actors are the real stars, with Charles Fleischer voicing multiple toons, including Roger Rabbit.

Story & Script
Roger Rabbit is married to Jessica, the most beautiful toon around. Roger Rabbit is afraid that Jessica is playing paddy cake (a clever way to say that she’s cheating on him) with a rich old man. When that rich old man ends up dead, and all the evidence points at Roger Rabbit, Jessica turns to Detective Eddie Valiant (Hoskins), who has a sordid history with the toons, to help prove her husband’s innocence. The story plays out predictably, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a fun ride. Roger Rabbit and Eddie Valiant are complete opposites, and that works really well comedically. I laughed so hard at one point that I started choking. The comedic timing is pretty great throughout the entire film, but the beginning is definitely better than end of the film. The real downer with the movie is how quickly it gets to the reveal, and then how slowly the ending drags on.

Direction
Robert Zemeckis is a much better director of comedies than he is of thrillers, and though Who Framed Roger Rabbit isn’t a classic like some of his other family-friendly films, it’s pretty good. The way he is able to blend the cartoon world with the real world is a true feat, and must’ve been especially difficult back in 1988. Frankly, that is probably the main reason why this movie is still remembered so fondly today.

Intangibles
The last third of the film just gets boring. It’s obvious who the villain is the second the character is introduced, and thus, the reveal isn’t at all revelatory. Then, from here, it proceeds to milk the ending for much longer than is needed. It spoils an otherwise solid movie.

Rewatchability
I’m sure I could watch this again, but preferably not anytime soon.

The Verdict
Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a lot darker than I remember, but also a lot funnier. It’s a shame the end of the movie is so blah because it starts off really well. Still, there are some genuinely hysterical moments in this, and I’d definitely recommend it for at least one viewing.

three_stars

Branden Chowen
Editor-in-Chief at Cinefessions
Branden has been a film fan since he was young, roaming the halls of Blockbuster Video, trying to find the grossest, scariest looking VHS covers to rent and watch alone in the basement. It wasn't until recently, though, that Branden started seeking out the classics of cinema, and began to develop his true passion for the art form. Branden approaches each film with the unique perspective of having studied the art from the inside, having both a bachelor's and master's degree in acting. He has been a film critic since 2010, and has previously written for Inside Pulse Movies, We Love Cult, and Diehard Gamefan. His biggest achievement as a film critic, to date, has been founding Cinefessions and turning it from a personal blog to a true film website, housing hundreds of film and television reviews, and dozens of podcasts.