A gothic tale very much in the vein of Tim Burton's animated fare, Igor often feels like a Burton joint, in terms of visuals and ambience, but it lacks the imagination of The Nightmare Before Christmas and fails to amuse - despite a stellar vocal cast. John Cusack lends his dulcet tones to the titular character Igor, a genius hunchback who builds Eva, a Frankenstein-like character, whose 'evil bone' fails to work. Eva wants to be an actress, and Igor convinces her that the annual Evil Scientist competition is actually an audition (hey, give her a break, her brain was recycled). But the current champion, the devious Dr. Schadenfreude (Izzard), will stop at nothing to steal the crown once more. There is a lot of stuff here that should be out-of-the-park funny; but despite some ideas that are truly inspired (Steve Buscemi playing an immortal, but suicidal bunny), they are never injected with enough wit or guile to endear the characters. It's set in a world that was once prosperous and peaceful, but when dark clouds appear one day the crops all die, and the inhabitants are forced to create evil devices to bully the rest of the world into paying them off. Obviously quite mature in tone, its edgy content is often bold, with American Dad scripter Chris McKenna aiming more than a few broadsides at the current American administration. Despite noble intentions it just doesn't gel, though, and younger kids may be slightly disturbed by some of the content, while the older ones are likely to be bored unless the suicidal bunny is blowing his own head off. In a cinematic climate where Pixar firmly rules the roost, in order for a 'toon to now work, it has to really appeal across the board - and a recognisable voice cast will only get you so far. So, while admirable in its intentions, it ultimately fails to warrant a family outing.
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