My initial reaction to the trailer of this film was, "Oh, wow. I think I’ll skip that one." But, as fate would have it, my four-year-old daughter found the trailer hilarious. So last Tuesday, I ended up paying $16.75 for the pleasure of seeing this film in 3-D.
I don’t know where to begin with the criticism. Shall I cite the writing, which was full of every cop movie cliché one could readily think of? Or perhaps I should start with the effects, because the animatronic dogs and cats were certainly chilling to behold. Also, the mixture of live action with puppets and CGI simply wasn’t well blended, and I fail to see how this film was enhanced by the use of 3-D.
A brief plot synopsis: if you’ve seen the trailers, you know exactly what the film is about. There are very few surprises or humorous moments left unexposed by the previews. Kitty Galore, once on the side of “the good guys,” seeks revenge after she falls into a vat of hair removal cream. She wishes to rule the world by broadcasting “The Call of the Wild,” a mind-controlling noise that will render all canines completely crazy. The potential fallout brings the underground intelligence agencies of cats and dogs together to work against Miss Galore.
Though insufferable in most respects, this film did have a few memorable moments. I laughed heartily at the scene where the stereotypical crazy cat lady had her cats doped up on catnip. In the subsequent scene, the beloved canine and feline crime fighters faced a surprise sea of rising cat litter. This scene would have been truly terrifying only if the litter was soiled.
Though the writing in this movie was sub-par, I must commend much of the voice-over work. Bette Midler was perfect for the role of Kitty Galore, as her voice expertly exuded the maniacal characteristics of a feline villain. Nick Nolte was a superb choice for crime fighting canine Butch. James Marsden and Christina Applegate were adequate in their roles as former K-9 dog Diggs and the feline agent Catherine, and Katt Williams was exceptionally annoying as pigeon informant Seamus, though he did create the occasional moment of hilarity.
I cannot compare this film to the original Cats & Dogs, as I have not seen it. This sequel will be worth a rental if your child really insists upon it. but for me, the movie stinks about as badly as our overripe cat box.