It's just monkey business!
That's the only way to describe Monkeybone.
Based on Kaja Blackley's novel, Dark Town, Henry Selick's Monkeybone goes something like this:
Stu Miley (Brandon Fraser), is an established cartoonist, whose wacky brainchild Monkeybone meets with huge success.
Just when Stu is all set to propose to his ladylove, Julie (Bridget Fonda), a freak accident has him in a coma.
While everyone thinks Stu is lying unconscious, the man concerned discovers himself in a strange place called Downtown. This place looks like an amusement park with roller coasters, merry-go-rounds and larger than life animated caricatures floating around.
That's where Stu bumps into the live version of his vivacious creation, Monkeybone (voiced by John Turturro).
Apparently, Monkeybone has had enough of being a cartoon and wants to get a brush of human life by getting into Stu's body.
Of course, all the action is taking place is Stu's hyperactive imagination. When it suits the makers, things take a realistic turn.
A subplot involving Death (Whoopi Goldberg), is a rather pathetic attempt at cashing in on the spirited actresses presence.
Brandon Fraser (The Mummy, Gods And Monsters) goes through his George Of The Jungle routine once again, displaying his limited range of histrionics. Costar Bridget Fonda is no better. A mere prop, doing nothing besides looking pretty.
As for John Turturro (O Brother, Where Art Thou?), he sounds every bit of the sleazy, lecherous, jerk that Monkeybone is.
Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas, James And The Peach) lets his nutty imagination run a little too far with its disgusting toilet humor. The film makes unnecessary digs on everyone from Attila the Hun to Stephen King.
On the positive side are the inspiring sets and visual effects. Anne Dudley's jungle music sounds just fine in the background.
A lackluster fantasy tale, Monkeybone is neither for adults, nor for kids and certainly no monkey.
Cast: Brendan Fraser, Bridget Fonda, John Turturro and Whoopi Goldberg
Director: Henry Selick
Producer: Michael Barnathan, Mark Radcliffe
Writer: Sam Hamm
Music: Anne Dudley