2/10 I honestly don’t know where to start with this review. So much has already been said and written about this failed experiment so I will do my best to add some new thoughts and warn you about this creature feature. Before I deservedly dump on this, I guess I can get the positive aspects out of the way first. There are really only two positive aspects, hence my score for this movie. Francesca Hayward, the lead of the movie and a newcomer to acting, is a very talented actress, dancer and singer. Her and Jennifer Hudson are the only two who gave solid performances. Jennifer Hudson was almost distracting because every time she popped up it was like, “What is she doing?! Oh…she’s actually trying to act. She’s putting forth effort. Hmmm.” So props to those two ladies for giving it their all and succeeding on their parts. Although crying Jennifer Hudson had so much snot coming down her nose that it gave me PTSD flashbacks to Viola Davis in “Fences”. The only other positive aspect besides those two performances was a few of the songs were very good. “Mr. Mistoffelees”, “Beautiful Ghosts”, “Memory” and “Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat” are the four great songs that this musical has to offer. None of the other songs work so this is where the positives end. As for the negatives…brace yourselves, folks. The most obvious flaw is the visuals. Before we even get to the cats, the first shots of the movie are overview shots over the city, which look super CGI/fake. Not one set looked like a physical location that the actors were performing on. Everything looked like a computer crapped it out and I mean everything. Nothing looked real or natural here. The cats themselves are such an odd hybrid of humans and cats. They have human hands and feet, which felt so weird. As for their faces, it looked like a bad snap chat filter face swap. Just when you thought the creepy faces couldn’t get any worse, they put children’s faces onto mice and adult’s faces onto cockroaches, which were both even more disturbing than the cats and their human faces. Disturbing visuals aside, the thing no one is talking about is just how garbage the storyline is. The plot is that there is a jellicle (which is a made up word that means nothing) ball which is basically a talent show. One old cat determines who wins the talent show and whoever does gets to die and be reincarnated into a better life. The villain, one of the only couple cats who can literally do magic and teleport (none of which is explained why some cats can do magic while others can’t) is trying to rig the talent show so he will win it and die/reincarnate. The villain wanting to die makes no sense because he is very powerful, feared and can do literal magic so I am not sure what is so bad about his life in the first place. The plot is insane, nothing makes sense, random characters get introduced, sing a song (half of the time about their name) and then they disappear. Since characters come and go so quickly, no one is developed, we don’t care about anyone and we are just trying to figure out what the Hell is going on or what just transpired. Rebel Wilson’s opening scene is one of the worst and she feels miscast and out of place. A few of the actors aren’t very good singers. Even though Hudson was great, her singing “Memory” gave me serious Anne Hathaway “I Dreamed a Dream” vibes, which makes sense since director Tom Hooper directed “Les Misérables” as well, which was a million times better than this. Despite the four songs that really worked, the rest really do not. To make matters worse, on several songs the music is just really bad. The jazz like songs give off cheesy elevator music vibes and there is some other really cheesy music that sounds like it is out of some dated 1980s workplace harassment video with its synthesizers blaring. It baffled me at how bad some of the music was and even a lot of the lyrics were uninspiring. The choreography was cat like but there was nothing impressive about the dancing and when the cats would defy gravity and float down diagonally or float up off the ground, I just sat in my theater seat blown away that so many Hollywood executives signed off on spending $95 million on this (double that when you count marketing costs and tweaked visual effects). I almost recommend seeing this when it comes out as a movie to have a few drinks to and laugh at the insanity just so you can see that this really is a thing that exists, not some nightmare. This is a terrible movie that is about as much fun to watch as it is to put your cat to sleep. As someone who is allergic to cats, I can also add that I too am allergic to this movie. What a CATastrophe.
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