Hank and Mike (DVD Review)26 Oct, 2008 By: David Greenberg
Rated ‘R’ for strong sexual content and nudity, pervasive language and some drug use.
Stars Thomas Michael, Paolo Mancini, Chris Klein, Joe Mantegna.
In a classic revisionist approach, director Matthew Klinck’s film rips apart and hilariously refabricates the mythology and iconography of the Easter Bunny.
A behind-the-scenes look at the “unseen” ways in which our holidays manifest, Hank and Mike owes less to similarly themed but essentially wholesome films such as Elf and Fred Claus and significantly more to the endlessly acerbic and dark Bad Santa.
The titular characters in the film, Hank, a hard-drinking, chain-smoking, skirt-chasing scumbag, and Mike, gloomy, neurotic and insecure, are Easter Bunnies. That is, they wear big, pink, furry bunny suits and bring holiday goodies to kids every spring.
When Hank skips a house on their route, the public outcry turns into a scandal, the pair becomes convenient scapegoats and they are soon targeted by Conrad Hubris (Klein), the smarmy executive charged with downsizing the Easter Corp. Faced with an uncertain future after losing their jobs, the bunnies humorously struggle to find their footing in a harsh and cruel world where their only marketable skills are delivering candy and baskets once a year.
A distinctly grown-up film with humor that manages to be both brash and subtle, both crude and intelligent, Hank and Mike succeeds because the consistent ridiculousness of watching two men struggle through the challenges of everyday life while encased in pink fuzz topped with floppy ears reminds the viewers of how crazy their own existence can be at times.
The film ultimately has a positive message about the importance of strong bonds with friends, no matter what. Hank and Mike is the brainchild of co-stars/co-writers Michael and Mancini, who originally produced it as a short in 2000. It will be very interesting to see what comes next for this talented pair.