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Cool World Reviews

Director Ralph Bakshi's return to films after almost a decade, COOL WORLD, a mix of animation and live action, is a near-total disaster. The film opens in Vegas, right after WWII, as returning war hero Frank Harris (Brad Pitt) has a motorcycle accident and gets sucked into Cool World, a sort of animated version of Hell. Frank stays in this 'toon purgatory as a cop, on the lookout for any sort of criminal behavior, especially the ultimate Cool World taboo: sex between a "doodle" (a cartoon character) and a "noid" (a human). The film then flashes forward to the present, where cartoonist Jack Deebs (Gabriel Byrne) also gets pulled in, thanks to Holli Would (Kim Basinger), the ultimate blonde seductress. Holli's desperate to become "real" by having sex with a human, and she spends most of her time trying to seduce Jack. When they finally do consummate their relationship, Frank is displeased, and he goes after the pair, eventually following them into the real world. COOL WORLD's numerous plot holes and illogicalities might be forgiven if it had interesting characters or impressive visual effects. Given WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT?'s stunning integration of live action and animation, these effects are even more disappointing: whenever a noid puts an arm around a doodle, it looks like he's cradling thin air. And Bakshi's annoying predilection for the grotesque and violent reaches a new low here. Except for the embarrassingly juvenile Holli Would (two-dimensional in every sense of the word) and Frank's bumbling insect sidekick, the doodles are thoroughly repulsive and, worse, unfunny.