Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Next Mike Myers film to stink on purpose this time

I hate myself for resorting to that joke, just for the record.

The "news" is a little old by now, so I'm not up for deciding which link "deserves" traffic or credit, but in case you hadn't heard Mike Meyers is being sought to voice the title character in a new feature film based around Looney Tunes mainstay Pepe La Pew.

In principle, I'm not opposed to the idea of building individual features out of the Looney Tunes stable, which Warner Bros. is aggressively pursuing right now (having also greenlit a "Speedy Gonzales" feature with George Lopez earlier this year.) They're strong characters built around reliable comedy types with proven appeal, and Warners is in a mad-dash to secure as many franchise-tentpoles as possible to be ready for when the Harry Potter cash-cow gets put to pasture next year - which is ALSO why they were so eager to start Green Lantern, sign someone for Superman and are likely within weeks of formally announcing The Flash.

However, two things about THIS property stand out in particular, to me:

#1: Does anyone still "get" that the joke of Pepe is built entirely around a wink-wink ethnic caricature, re: it's "funny" that a romantic skunk is French because "frenchmen smell bad?" That's really pretty much it - he's an American spoof at the expense of French sexuality and (percieved) grooming-habits.

#2: How do you, in 2010, "work around" the fact that - as far as cartoon-animals go - Pepe's "schtick" is basically to be something close to a serial-rapist and/or sex-addict? There's really only one Pepe "arc": He aggressively-pursues an unwilling female cat after mistaking her for a skunk. Yes, technically she's only so insistently-resisting because he's a skunk, but the "grownup side" of the joke (and with the Looney Tunes, there always was one) is that we're pretty-much watch sexual-assault-as-slapstick.

All of that, to be sure, is still funny - hysterical, in fact, in the cartoons... but where's the feature in this? Assuming the idea is a feature version of the shorts (it'll almost-certainly by 3D computer-animation or an animation/live-action hybrid) you can bet they won't be having Pepe aggressively tackle-humping a female cat for 90 minutes - so what, then? One imagines some sort of "romantic comedy" scenario, wherein Pepe pursues The Cat in more of a "hapless romantic dweeb" Lloyd Dobbler manner, comically-oblivious to the real reason he's being rebuffed - of course, he'd "figure it out" midway through act 2 and go to some foolish length to mute his olfactory-offensiveness, though ultimately both he and The Cat will learn Very Important Lessons about looking past flaws and being comfortable with who you are.

Egh. THAT was actually depressing to type - imagine how it'd be to watch it?


dkh said...

#3: Mike Meyers.

Mr_Tinq said...

Don't they have a guy who voices that drawn-out stereotype?

Arturo said...

Yeah I heard about this about a week ago. What a kick in the balls.

Sssonic said...

Maybe my cynicism meter isn't up to snuff today, or perhaps it's because I'm just that hopeless a Romantic, but the theoretical plot Bob describes here honestly doesn't sound all that terrible. It hardly sounds great either, mind, but it at least sounds as enjoyable as, say, "Gay Purr-Ee" (an old-school animated film by Pepe's papa, Chuck Jones), and given that there really isn't a whole lot you can DO with a Pepe LePew movie, it's as good an outcome as you could hope for, in my opinion. Mind you, I still think both this and the Speedy Gonzales movie are bad ideas in principle, so it's not like I'm saying the project's destined for great things either.

a.k.a.A.M.V.P said...

I'm still reeling from the fact that there's going to be a live-action/CGI Yogi Bear movie.

Nick said...

Look on the bright side... it's still going to be better than the Family Circus movie.

Smashmatt202 said...

I don't care much for Pepe le Pew or Speedy Gonzales, but there's also going to be a live action MArvin the Martian movie. THAT, I'm pissed off about.

Arturo said...

my favorite Pepe cartoon was one that ends with him accidentally dying his fur blue and now The Cat is crazy for him because she can't tell he's a skunk anymore.
Ahh...classic switcheroo. Good times.