'Cool World' - Movie Review

A lower budget, crazier, and much more sexualized version of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Came with a pretty poor recommendation, sitting as it does at 4% on Rotten Tomatoes 23 years after its release. The confused plot first shows us a human (a very young Brad Pitt, acting rather poorly here) in our world in 1945 drawn into the animated (and comedic) "Cool World" just as his mother dies - a bizarre tonal shift that lets you know director Ralph Bakshi is going to be tone-deaf throughout the movie. We then jump forward nearly 50 years, and see that an unchanged Pitt is now a policeman in Cool World, and out in the real world a cartoonist (Gabriel Byrne) who drew one of the Cool World characters (Holli Would, played by Kim Basinger) is getting out of jail. The cartoonist starts transitioning between worlds, and he and Holli cause major problems.

When the characters are in Cool World, the place is visually fascinating. It's also utterly littered with visual non-sequiturs: fist-fights, safes or cows dropping out of the sky - usually onto characters - crazy things just floating through the air. It's very cool to look at, but doesn't make a lot of sense or add to the plot. Byrne's comic book artist seems like a very white-bread guy, but we're supposed to think he really, really want to be in the utterly insane environment of Cool World - nothing sold me on that at all. Despite all of which I rather enjoyed it, as damaged as it is. It was interesting, and I think I'm looking for that right now after a string of incredibly boring action movies.