I very much wanted to love this movie. As a concept, it is great. As a final product, it doesn’t quite work. (You could see here that I was excited to see this movie before it came out…)
Igor is the story of a laboratory assistant, Igor (voiced by John Cusack), who wants to be more than a lab assistant to Dr. Glickenstein (voiced by John Cleese). When a bad choice by Dr. Glickenstein provides an opportunity for Igor to prove he too can create an evil project as well or better than the other Evil Scientists in the city of Malaria…
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What saved this movie for me from being a total wash was Igor’s two friends. Scamper, an immortal rabbit who desperately wants to die, and Brain, a literal “brain in a jar”. Scamper is voiced by Steve Buscemi, and Brain is voiced by Sean Hayes. And every time Igor, Scamper, and Brain appeared on screen — they made me laugh.
In the first scene where you meet Scamper, he must attempt suicide about 5 times in various and sundry ways. Each way makes you giggle a little more.
Molly Shannon voices Eva, the monster Igor, Scamper, and Brain create in the lab. She’s not quite evil, but really wants to be an actress after a botched “brain wash” where she watches an episode of Inside the Actor’s Studio hosted by James Lipton.
(As an aside, I think it’s hilarious that Lipton has been involved in at least two movies this year… First as part of the advertising for Hellboy: The Golden Army, and now as a plot point in Igor!)
Other big names helped out with voices for the movie, including:
- Jay Leno
- Christian Slater
- Arsenio Hall
This was an enjoyable movie where the best scenes all included Igor, Scamper, and Brain, and all the rest of the characters, including the King and Dr. Schadenfreude and Jaclyn/Heidi, just fell flat.
I was also wondering to myself if an immortal rabbit attempting to commit suicide really was the best kind of character to include in a movie ostensibly meant for kids.
Ultimately, this was a fun movie with a good concept that didn’t really follow through on the promise of that good story matched with what should have been an outstanding voice cast. It just didn’t come together.
Because of the wonderful chemistry between Cusack, Buscemi, and Hayes, I have to give this a solid 2 out of 4. But it could have been oh so much more.
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