Wednesday, 19 October 2011

The Corner - Week 2 - Heather Reviews Igor


It has ingenious evil scientists. It has Frankenstein’s monster-like creations. It has a miserable, depressing, scathing, suicidal rabbit. A brain without a brain. Hunchbacks. Annual Evil Science Fairs. And an “impossible” ambition: to create… life.
Igor (2008) was directed by Anthony Leondis and written by Chris McKenna. The story: behold the kingdom of Malaria, where evil inventions are the way to make money. Enter Igor, one of many insignificant igors (hunchback assistants to evil scientists) who is about to perform a feat not yet to be performed. Igor’s previous inventions have turned out to be successful… kind of: Scamper, a suicidal rabbit, and Brain, who is super-unintelligent. Igor’s life-long dream is to create the greatest invention the world has ever seen, and in doing so, winning first prize in the annual Evil Science Fair. However, fiendish Dr Schadenfreude has also made plans: to steal Igor’s creation from him, and, as the cliché goes, take over the world.
Voiced by John Cusack, Igor wins hearts from his very first, sociable phrase: “Nice weather we’re having, huh?” He befriends us, becomes allies with us, and inspires pity and allegiance with us through the medium of Igor-ness. Yes, that’s right, his deteriorating physical shape is a beacon of lost hope, and one we will scorn and laugh at. Yet there is something in this hunchback that is different from all his other hump-backed, indifferent kin. This Igor has spirit, he has heart, and most importantly of all, he has talent.
Alongside John Cusack stars Eddie Izzard (playing Doctor Schadenfreude), Molly Shannon (playing Eva) and Steve Buscemi (playing Scamper). Igor plays host to a wonderful cast and a fable full of likeable characters.  The plot, slightly clichéd, yet unique in presentation is encapsulating. Fun for children and adults alike, it is a little like Despicable Me (brought out in 2010) in that even the most sinister of evil scientists strive to impress their mothers!
And so Igor and his partially brainless, partially cheerless comrades take us on a journey through the life of an igor who makes a difference. The message? Be yourself! Yes, it’s that old corker, a message apparently we watchers never get tired of… well that’s debatable. Yes, it would be nice to see a film with a fresh message, one unvisited and surprising, but I, for one, am not going to hold my breath on that one. Igor does, however, tick a surprising amount of boxes for originality and holding our attention, and for that, I must praise it.

Overall, I'd give it 7.5/10.

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