THE ALLEY — It’s not often that a movie defines a generation or makes a cultural impact where the film world, and the world in general, will never be the same. “Cats” is one of those movies for all the wrong reasons.
OK, so maybe this movie will not define a generation, but I don’t think the world will ever be the same now that “Cats” has been unleashed on it.
I guess you could say a cat’s got my tongue (or my fingers) when it comes to writing this review, because I’m kind of speechless as to all the reasons why “Cats” is a total mess and something I’ll never forget. But, here are a few:
For those familiar with “Cats” the musical and its history, I don’t think this will come as much of a shock: “Cats” the film is a jumbled mess of narrative and flow that barely qualifies as a coherent story or plot.
Based off poems T.S. Elliot wrote, “Cats” kind of tells the story of a group of felines as they await the the reveal of the one cat who will be chosen to be sent away into the sky in a balloon to find a new life. Look, I have no issue with strange movies with odd plots, but this isn’t even odd or strange; it’s just pointless and constantly grasping at straws.
One minute we’re learning about the Jellicles and the next we’re listening to Rebel Wilson sing about eating cockroaches while scratching her kitty privates. The movie is a constant whirlwind of nonsense and absurdity that left me feeling almost nauseous at times.
As you get deeper into the film, some of the plot points and direction start making some sense, but then something else ridiculous occurs and destroys all the progress.
While some of the music is stunning, and the cast is jam-packed with talent, “Cats” is still somehow boring. The movie only has a runtime of one hour and 50 minutes, but it felt like I was there for hours. I kept glancing at my watch only to realize an excruciating five minutes had passed, and we still had a long way to go.
It’s amazing to me that with that budget, that cast, an Academy Award-winning director (Tom Hooper) and the bright backgrounds, I could be so bored. I nearly fell asleep at one point. Unfortunately, I did not.
While the filmmakers obviously spent a fortune to make the likes of Sir Ian McKellen, Dame Judy Dench, Taylor Swift and James Corden look like some human/cat creature, the visuals still felt off, awkward and uncomfortable.
While some of the CGI is truly impressive, other things just don’t fit; and the human body covered in cat fur and ears was a mistake. I read, at one point, this film was meant to be an animated feature, which would have been much better than this assault on the eyes and the senses.
I never got comfortable with the cats, and I hope I never do (because it’ll mean I’ve given up on a piece of my soul). All the comments people have made about how creepy and uncomfortable the trailer for the film is were are all true — but stretch that horror into nearly two hours that feels like four.
I am being harsh on this film, but ultimately I think the joke will be on me because I kind of want people to see this. I don’t want to be the only one living with this. I need moral support on this. Truly, this film is a trippy, awkward and unpleasant experience. I need others to see it so we can revel in its absurdity together.
I also had a realization that real cats don’t care about you, will do whatever they want, and in some ways want to watch the world burn. So, in a weird way, the movie “Cats” is a cat itself — or at least the cat of the movie world.
There is an audience for this movie, but I don’t know them personally. If you are one of them, please reach out to me and let me know what I’m missing. In the interim, I’m going to try to make sure “Cats” doesn’t haunt my dreams for the foreseeable future.
“Cats” is rated PG for some rude and suggestive humor. While it doesn’t technically have anything too offensive in it, I don’t think I can say it’s appropriate for any age group.
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