‘Cats’ Review

Cats, oh Cats, that sweet cinematic meme of 2019. I’m going to be honest: when I was going to hit the start button I was genuinely expecting to just be having fun watching people sing flamboyantly whilst looking like cats. Other thing that was on my mind was that there would be something to distract me also considering that there are some talented actors like Judi Dench (Old Deuteronomy) and Ian McKellen (Gus) being directed by The King’s Speech’s Tom Hopper. I was mortified to find out that I was not having fun after a while.

It’s really hard to point out anything redeemable about this. You could probably say that the production design is fine but the designer or art director really don’t get interesting sets to work with. Cinematography is also fine but the film’s color palette is so bland and it relies on quite a bit of CGI. Jennifer Hudson as Grizabella doesn’t under- or overperform the only memorable song ‘Memory’ and newcomer Francesca Hayward as Victoria dances beautifully the whole time. I really wish that there would’ve been at least some funny cat videos in the closing credits so it wouldn’t have felt so sour in the end.

Keeping in mind that this movie was done in 2019, it’s astonishing that the visual effects are so atrocious. Hayward’s Victoria is only one that doesn’t look like a MS Paint furry suit as everything from the design to shapes to rendering is painful to look at. It’s unfathomable that they got through the studio system and that the poor artists had to sit for hours drawing and animating them. If I understand correctly, the ”story” in this film isn’t different from the stage play (haven’t seen it). Whatever the case is, that was a blatant mistake as the ”story” of a cat talent contest to win a new life is worth only of one or two scenes, not for a whole feature length movie. You could also feel sorry for some of the actors (*cough* Hayward *cough* McKellen and Dench) but there are plenty simply bad performances, notably by James Corden (as Bustopher Jones), Idris Elba (Macavity) and Naoimh Morgan (Rumpleteazer). One last sin the movie commits is being flat-out boring: it starts, cathumans appear, nothing happens, people sing, it ends. Maybe it’s money laundering scheme.

Smileys: A lot of the crew will still get jobs after this since they did alright

Frowneys: VFX, story, acting, soundtrack, screenplay

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0.5/5