Garfield: The Movie
Get ready for frisky business
Running Time: 82 minutes
US Certificate: PG UK Certificate: U
Country: United States
Jim Davis long-running comic strip Garfield was never particularly funny, and neither was the kiddies cartoon series of the 1980s so it probably just about makes sense that this needless big screen adaptation is the comedic equivalent of having an oil-drum fall on your foot.
If any of you dont know what Garfield is, let me assure you, youve missed out on NOTHING. But, for the sake of completing this review if nothing else, allow me to fill you in. The title character is a fat, ginger, lazy-eyed lasagne-loving moggy who lives with his hapless owner Jon (here played by Breckin Road Trip Meyer) and a small yapping pooch by the name of Odie. In Davis three-box comic strip, thats pretty much as far as the story ever gets but here weve got 90 minutes to fill, so its time to come up with a weak storyline and desperately stretch it for all its worth (and, failing that, pad it out with some ridiculously-bad song-and-dance segments).
That storyline goes a little something like this: Odie, its discovered is an incredible dancer. A mean-spirited TV entertainer by the name of Happy Chapman (Stephen Tobolowsky) spots the wonder-hounds potential and wants him for his show. Jon says no. Happy takes him anyway. Garfield goes on a rescue mission. And, aside from a minor sub-plot involving Jon drooling over a short-skirted vet played by Jennifer Love Hewitt, thats about it.
Im actually a little embarrassed to say that its the great Bill Murray, a man whose work I normally champion without exception, providing the leads voice. Murray is the best comic actor of his (and possibly anyone elses) generation, but here even he becomes irritating. The cat itself is brought to the screen as a big ball of CGI, and though the standard of animation is passable, its certainly nothing special in this day and age.
If youre looking for a safe-as-houses movie to take the kids to this summer, then thisll just about do it. Theres absolutely nothing offensive about it, and some of the very youngest of young uns may even be vaguely amused for the first 20 minutes or so. But safe is all this flick is. Its got no spark, no real wit, and Im willing to bet most viewers of any age will leave the theatre bored out of their skulls.
It's Got: Love Hewitt looking like she hasnt had a proper meal in months. Please girl, help yourself to some of that lasagne before you collapse.
It Needs: To let us in on whether or not Jon actually has a job.
Alternatives:Cats & Dogs, Good Boy!
The cats whiskers it aint.