Cool World (1992) Review:
Okay, so I know this isn’t really disability related, but this is also a sci-fi blog. Cool World is sort of sci-fi, with the portals between the real and animated world. The plot is paper thin held together by sex appeal and bright colors in Ralph Bakshi’s nearly signature style. The trippiness sort of glues the film together. Sort of. If I would’ve seen this as a kid, it would have screwed me up, I’m sure. So, we move on to the plot: A cartoon wants to have sex with her animator to become real, but it tears apart reality, and it’s up to a cop from the 1940s to stop her. What?
Yeah, it’s weird. But, I thought, as an amateur animation geek, I’d give it a shot. No real surprises, though. It’s mainly a ploy to get Kim Basinger to strut around pretending to be a naughtier Jessica Rabbit while Brad Pitt is a hotshot version of Eddie Valiant. The animation is absurd, trippy, overcrowded…sometimes entertaining. Well, it’s enough to make you forget the plot. Temporarily. So, this cop, Frank, is a dead human, actually who got transported into the Cool World via the traumatic death of his mom. So far this movie is about sex, death, and cartoons. Got it? And not too much in-between.
So, Holli Would…(Kim Basinger) I apologize for the bad innuendo…concocts a plan to seduce her cartoonist once he’s finished drawing her with a magic pen that sucks him into Cool World, which is some sort of cartoony skid row 1940s, and not at all Toon Town. Well, maybe if Toon Town had pimps and gangsters. Frank’s love interest is another toon, but he knows unlike Jack Deebs (I apologize so sincerely for that innuendo!) her cartoonist, that having sex is a no-no (with a human as a toon.) in Cool World.
Well, the plan goes off, and reality starts to blend between animation and reality; phasing in and out. Holli (Now played by the actual kinda sexy Kim Basinger.) starts dancing around in clubs and such but in weird moments which I’m sure terrified many people, myself included, she phases into a clown. It’s just terrible! And yes, I know it’s supposed to be an “adult comedy”. Or at least, I know that now!
I guess I went in thinking it would be a “cooler” Roger Rabbit. Back in the day, there was a videogame about this movie, and the commercials made it look cool, but really, I suggest the vastly superior Who Framed Roger Rabbit? If you want a wacky blend of animation and reality with some innuendo.
Usually I like Ralph Bakshi’s stuff, but this is just his poor imitation of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. As I watched I kept thinking, “Who was this movie made for?” But, ultimately, again, it’s just Bakshi’s attempt at a “more adult” Jessica Rabbit-like story, which comes across as both bizarre and juvenile. Though, I should add, it is trippy…so maybe the confusion is intentional? Or just to disguise the thin plot…? I don’t know. It’s a mind-bender. Definitely not for the kiddos. But, maybe 90s teens?
To summarize: Dead people become cartoons. Cartoons want to have sex with humans, so that they become real…but can’t because it tears apart reality. Yeah, it was messed up. I usually enjoy escapism, but this went too far, and Kim Basinger was trying way too hard to be the real Jessica Rabbit! Definitely glad I didn’t see it as a kid, but now I’m just wishing I never saw it! If you played the SNES videogame as a kid, and wonder what it was you missed (Like I did…) the answer is: Well, a lot of dirty jokes. Thumbs down. Go watch Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.