Igor

"Good"

Igor Review


Igor is the Rodney Dangerfield of cinematic sidekicks. With rare exceptions (Marty Feldman's turn in Young Frankenstein), the deformed lab assistant gets little horror movie respect. Even the legendary Bela Lugosi balked at the suggestion that he play one alongside a then relatively unknown Boris Karloff. It's always about the monster or the mad scientist, not the hunchbacked scrub doing all the dirty work. In the imaginative new animated feature Igor, director Anthony Leondis and writer Chris McKenna try to change our perception of the often marginalized character. While there's imagination to spare, the storyline is often bogged down by obvious animation conventions.

In the country of Malaria, young Igor (John Cusack) longs to be a mad scientist. Every year, the grim, gloomy nation holds a competition to see who can invent the most horrific item. The winning design is then used by King Malbert (Jay Leno) to blackmail the rest of the world into filling the kingdom's coffers. Typically, Dr. Schadenfreude (Eddie Izzard) steals the best idea -- with the help of his girlfriend Jacyln (Jennifer Coolidge) -- and takes all the glory. But this time, things are a little unusual. The best invention turns out to be Igor's: a gargantuan fiend named Eva (Molly Shannon) who fancies herself an actress. With the help of his self-made companions Brain (Sean Hayes) and Scamper (Steve Buscemi), our hero must convince the creature that she's truly evil, or lose a chance at his dream once and for all.

At first, Igor establishes some very clever macabre mythology. The "born into servitude" angle, along with the entire sidekick school and master/servant dynamic does a good job of establishing the odds against our hero. Cusack's voice fits the demands of the role perfectly, since we are supposed to see humor and warmth within this persecuted pawn's deformed façade. In fact, almost all the voice work is excellent, avoiding the stunt casting confines of the genre while providing layers of instant likeability. Everything here has a Tim Burton meets Mad Monster Party vibe, with some outlandish gallows humor thrown in for good measure (Buscemi plays an undead rabbit with a death wish, unable to kill himself -- no matter how hard he tries -- thanks to Igor's immorality potion). Add in the stylized look, and you have a weirdly idiosyncratic entertainment.

Where things go a bit wonky is in the introduction of Eva. More sideshow attraction than sinister creature, this wannabe Streep with mismatched body parts is all stereotypes and drama queen preening. Her egotistical diva-dom grows old very quickly, as does her obsession with a certain little orphan's Broadway musical. Izzard's Schadenfreude is equally irritating, the talented UK comic unable to do much with such a decidedly one note villain. Instead of being evil and intriguing, he's just pompous and rather prissy, like Lost in Space's Dr. Smith without the alliteration. His last act attempt to turn Eva evil (and thus win the contest) is so anticlimactic that you wonder what all the fuss was about. The Annie-inspired fight to the death also underperforms. It's more high concept than hilarious.

Still, by avoiding the standard anthropomorphized animals and oh-too-clever pop culture references, Igor ends up winning us over. The design elements are often breathtaking, and Leondis truly understands the narrative's goofy Goth needs. It doesn't matter that McKenna's script often feels as superficial as the TV series he's best known for (American Dad) or that not enough time is taken with the intriguing ancillary aspects of Malaria. For a format that frequently flails about aimlessly, this CG spookshow is an adventurous, amiable attraction.

Sit up str... ah, skip it.



Igor

Facts and Figures

Run time: 87 mins

In Theaters: Friday 19th September 2008

Box Office USA: $19.4M

Box Office Worldwide: $30M

Budget: $25M

Distributed by: MGM

Production compaines: Exodus Film Group, Exodus Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 36%
Fresh: 32 Rotten: 58

IMDB: 6.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , John D. Eraklis, Max Howard

Starring: as Igor, as Dr. Holzwurm, Robin Walsh as Dr. Holzwurm's Igor, Matt McKenna as Dr. Herzschlag, as Dr. Glickenstein, as Scamper, as Brain, as Dr. Schadenfreude, as King Malbert, as Jaclyn / Heidi, as Eva, as himself, as Dr. Schadenfreude's Igor, as Carl Cristall

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.