Based on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway musical, “Cats” is a whimsical view of what life is like for stray cats on the street.
Through lots of songs and interpretive dance, the cats tell the story of who they are and how they came to be the most famous (and infamous) characters in the dark alleys of the city. They are all vying to be the chosen feline in this year’s “Jellicle Ball,” the prize being ascension to a god-like cat status as you pass on to another life.
What a difficult task, to decide how to adapt the wildly successful Broadway classic for the big screen. On the stage, the dancers are dressed as cats, but their human faces and other features have to remain because there is lots of singing and dancing involved.
So, if we just make furry humans and CGI their expressive actor faces onto a somewhat cat-like body, it should be the same thing, right?
What you get is a horrifying, deeply disturbing creature that was difficult to watch for two very long hours. There was some amazing dancing in the film, as well as talented singers, on par for what theater patrons should expect from this property. The terrible CGI and awkward acrobatics made it painful to watch even in that aspect, though.
In short, every choice in making this movie was a poor one. The best part about it was the end credits.
A talented group of big name actors were chosen for this film, and some of them did a phenomenal job ... of singing, at least.
Francesca Hayward, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift and Jason Derulo all did an amazing job with their vocals and dancing. Some other performers: James Corden, Rebel Wilson, Idris Elba, Judi Dench and Ian McKellen gave memorable performances also, but mostly because they were just awful.
The background dancers were all amazing. I ended up wanting to just watch them the whole time; it was much more rewarding. All in all, the casting was adequate; their parts were just so bad, though.
There is no true violence. One bad kitty ties up the others and there is some very mild, pathetic attempt at the friendliest violence ever recorded. There is no bad language.
I guess you could call some of the cats naked (since some of them are wearing clothes for some reason), but none of the form fitting suits are anatomically accurate, thankfully. The only drug use is some major catnip being passed around. And the kittens are trippin’ hairballs.
I’ll admit, after watching the trailer, there was no part of me that wanted to go see this movie. Although I enjoyed it on the stage, some things just don’t translate to the big screen. My daughter begged though, so of course I went.
I think her response summed it up best: “Dad, I’m so glad you went so I had someone to talk to, so I didn’t die of boredom.”
The visuals were terrible, the character designs were horrifyingly creepy and even though the songs were well done, they just didn’t blow my socks off as I expected. I ended up going to the bathroom, just so when I got back, the movie would be that much closer to being over.
I give it a catastrophic 2/10, and only that high, thanks to the songs.
This movie is safe for all ages ... but not entertaining for any of them.
Rating: PG for rude and suggestive humor
Run time: 110 excruciating minutes