At Quality 16 and Showcase
3 out of 5 stars

Somewhat separating itself from the pack, “Igor” is an unorthodox story. It’s the story of Igor, or the name given to a race of hunchbacked assistants. “Igor” takes place in the Kingdom of Malaria where an evil scientist community lurks under the constantly dark sky. That is, until Igor (voiced by John Cusack, “Martian Child”) builds a female Frankenstein-like monster named Eva to enter in the annual Evil Science Fair.

“Igor” will inevitably be compared to its animated contemporaries like “Shrek.” The female main character, voiced by Molly Shannon (“SNL”), is named Eva, and coincidentally shares the name with the lovable white robot in this year’s “Wall-E.”

Eva is the most interesting character in the film, as she has one flaw that threatens Malaria: She is the ultimate anti-Grinch. Her evil bone isn’t activated, so she can only do good things — despite a “Clockwork Orange”-like brainwash — such as playing with blind orphans instead of torturing them like the rest of the Malarians do.

Ultimately, “Igor” will be entertaining for kids, and the movie does have some impressively animated gothic characters. It even has some good messages that shine through along the way: Malaria used to be governed by the motto “Step on someone to get ahead,” but viewers eventually learn that everyone has evil bones that we can choose to use or not to use. Or, as the movie’s bizarre conclusion shows, we can have blind orphans sing Johnny Nash’s “I Can See Clearly Now” to show us the good in our hearts.

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