People that mock kids’ movies tend to get criticized for “not being the target audience” of the movie they’re mocking. The prevailing wisdom, of course, is that movies made for kids are to be judged differently than, say, movies meant for adults. This, my friends, is the stupidest bit of “wisdom” you’ll ever hear: Just because a movie’s meant for kids doesn’t mean it has to suck. All that said, is Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Pussy Galore a good kids’ movie or a bad one? Find out after the jump.
Let’s get this out of the way first: I’m going to be referring to this one as Cats and Dogs 2 for the remainder of this review, because typing out Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore is absurd and regurgitating the full title in every paragraph would require an amount of energy that I’m simply unable to summon in service of this junk-stomp of a movie. While we’re offering behind-the-review notes, let me also preface what follows with this: Yeah, I know I’m not the target audience for Cats and Dogs 2. I get it. It’s for kids. But that doesn’t excuse a movie from being a hunk of sh-t, and it doesn’t excuse everyone involved from producing a half-assed movie with lame special effects. They’re kids, Hollywood, not blind, deaf, and in a coma.
You might have noticed that Cats and Dogs 2 is, in fact, a sequel. This is now officially a franchise, but judging from the poor box office results from this installment, it’s unlikely that we’ll be seeing Cats and Dogs 3: Bark/Meow Harder any time soon. Then again, it was also unlikely that someone would ask Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake to play Yogi and Boo-Boo, so what do we know? Warner Bros. may be hard at work on yet another Cats and Dogs as we speak. If so, beware.
Do you really want to know the plot? Really? OK, here it is: Since the beginning of time, cats and dogs have been waging a long, tedious, assisted-by-James-Bond-like-gadgets war with one another behind humanity’s back. These cats and dogs all have celebrity voices, and their mouths actually spit out human words– not always English, but primarily, at least during this period of their long-standing war. It’s an idea that’s pretty much perfect for a Saturday morning cartoon, or maybe one cutesy, Baby’s Day Out-style movie. But two movies? Did director Brad Peyton never see Baby Geniuses 2?
Anyway, in this entry of the Cats and Dogs cycle, Bette Midler is Kitty Galore, a hairless cat with a penchant for dressing in disguise (as a dog, of course) and the greatest secret agent that the feline side has ever known. James Marsden is Diggs, a dog on the San Francisco…uh…dog police force (???) who dreams of bringing her down. After a sort-of “double-opening” wherein we see Kitty Galore and Diggs doing what they do best, Diggs is sent out on Kitty’s trail, and…
Listen, does it even matter? If you’re an adult, you’re going to overdose on the cutesiness of everything on display within minutes, and if you survive that, you’re only going to be annoyed by the constant puns, weak-ass scatological humor, and obvious plot points that remain. If all that wasn’t enough, Cats and Dogs 2 isn’t even that well-made: the effects look cheap, the sets look cheaper, and the script’s shoddy. If Peyton had gone out of his way to inject this series with something– anything– that adults could hold onto (and I think that’s not impossible), we wouldn’t be having this little talk, and I wouldn’t warn you against showing Cats and Dog 2 to your children or yourself in the next paragraph.
Speaking of which, you should never show Cats and Dogs 2 to your children, much less yourself. Cats and Dogs 2 isn’t even fun to watch ironically (I tried). Did you see G-Force? Remember how bad you thought that was? Cats and Dogs 2 is even worse.
So, is there anything positive to say about the Blu-ray version of Cats and Dogs 2 that I was sent for review? Well, the sound– totally in service of the crappy script, silly-ass sound effects, and overblown score– sounds crystal-clear, and the picture’s great. But beyond that, I wouldn’t pick this one up unless you’re looking to start a series of movie-themed drink coasters. Another fleetingly worthwhile addition to the disc: you might be interested in the brand-new Looney Tunes cartoon that’s included (it’s a Roadrunner/Coyote installment), if you’re into the old Warner Bros. cartoons. But the rest of the extras are “outtakes/gag reel”-style nonsense, including the “sneak-peek” at Yogi Bear that’s included here (I’m just dumbfounded that that one even exists, still).
Listen, I’m not the target audience, but that doesn’t excuse a half-assed movie. There’s virtually nothing to recommend here (not even if you’re the world’s most die-hard Joe Pantoliano completest): the movie’s obnoxious, the cast is wasted, the direction’s flat and listless, and the script is just flat-out stupid. If you read this entire review, I appreciate it– I didn’t like watching and then writing about this any more than you’ve enjoyed reading this screed– but let that be the end of your interaction with anything Cats and Dogs 2-related. You’ll thank me for it.