|Although there is an abundance of humor best understood by children under seven years old, Cats & Dogs is mostly a fun romp through the tulips. it's got the usual elements of a fun summer children's film and is not too annoying for the older people in the audience. It's amusing in some spots and really fun in a few, making this film well worth the price of a matinee ticket.|
Of course, I might be persuaded to go to the movie at night and pay the whole enchilada if I knew that children would be barred from the film. Although I like going to films with a large audience for the fun group, I got to listen to a pre-teen brat hack and cough his lungs up for about a third of this movie. Stupid kid probably started smoking at age four. In any case, most of the humor in this film was enough to make me forget that my lungs were probably filling up with pathogens.
And the special effects in the film were pretty amazing. Though i have to say that they were sometimes overwhelming. i mean, this film's a comedy, right? Five year old kids aren't really gonna care how real the special effects are. And it seems that sometimes the filmmakers got a little carried away with the special effects and concentrated more on them than they did the actual humor and characters. The special effects were certainly revolutionary, but they many times made the film feel geared more towards an action movie audience (like with cars blowing up and stuff) than an audience filled with kids.
Special effects aside, some critics have said that the film got old with its constant jokes on spying and espionage, but I was glad to see that the film didn't sink to toilet humor for half the movie, like other recent releases this summer. Many of the jokes make fun of the whole "mission impossible" idea and its easy to laugh at them without having to squirm in your seat (like you would during a movie like There's Something About Mary or Big Daddy). It's just fun fun.
And that's probably what's most attractive about this movie. It doesn't take itself seriously, nor does it sink too low. It's a film that five year old can have a wonderful time at and that older folks can go see and not be bored out of their minds. One complaint though that I have on the film is that the entire way through, the cats are always portrayed as the villains. Now i understand that the filmmakers had to pick one animal to side with, but all throughout the movie, none of the cats ever "crossed over" to the dog side. It would have been fun to see the two groups join forces against the evil Persian cat, but there was so much hatred between each side that it never got to that classic "foes join forces" element by the end of the film.
At the end, you still hate the cats, and the dogs are still supreme. As a lover of both dogs and cats, I would have liked to have seen some cooperation between the fighting sides. Some teamwork elements would have been good for the kiddies too. Like good examples for the youngins. In any case, this film is probably just a movie that's good for a light-hearted time at the movies. It's safe and fun for everyone in the family and it's not too long, like so many of the movies have been this summer. 5 of the last 7 movies I've seen were over two hours long and nearly all of them could have been cut a bunch. As a last word, i'll spend a few lines on the human components of the film.
Jeff Goldblum plays the weird scientist to perfection . . . of course, that's usually who he plays in every film . . . and Elizabeth Perkins is good throughout most of the movie though at the climax at the end, she gets really really really annoying for about two minutes. Just see the film, you'll know what i'm talking about. The little boy in the film, played by Alexander Pollock, does a fine job as well. None of the actors give Oscar worthy performances, but hey, it's just a funny summer comedy. And really, that's how you should think of this film if you go to see it. Fun and comedic and a good laugh for a saturday afternoon. Or night. If you want to avoid the kids.
Review by Kelsey Wyatt.