Garfield: A Tail Of Two Kitties

Garfield: A Tail Of Two Kitties

**

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

One lazy fat cat with attitude is a good thing. Two lazy fat cats with accents halve the fun. Whoever thought up the plot for Garfield 2 should have watched Kind Hearts And Coronets. As it is, there is an imagination deficit that sucks inspiration dry.

Prince (voiced by Tim Curry) is Garf's doppelganger, except he lives in an English castle and is waited on by a flurry of servants. When his owner pops her clogs, she leaves the castle and all her worldly possessions to the spoilt orange moggie. The talking farmyard animals, excluding one snotty-nosed indoor parrot, are delighted, because, despite his pampered lifestyle, Prince is one of them.

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The relative who spits with rage is the late Lady's nephew, Lord Dargis (this must be a first for Billy Connolly, playing a toff in a tailcoat), who is smart enough - just - to realise that if the naive puss had a fatal accident, all this would be his. He plots, he schemes, he is completely useless. The animals attack him and he ends up like Tom after the yard dog had whacked him a few.

What's this got to do with The King of the Cul-de-Sac, the voice of Bill Murray, the REAL Garfield? Well, not much, until Jon (Breckin Meyer), his nice-but-wet owner, decides to propose to Liz (Jennifer Love Hewitt), his nice-but-vet girlfriend. Before he can make the BIG ASK, complete with engagement-ring-in-box and one-knee genuflection with soppy smile, she announces she is off to England for an conference of animal right-on-ers, where she will give a speech, at - you've guessed it - Carlyle Castle, where Dargis is trying to wipe everything orange, furry and fat off the map.

To slop a long story into sick-sized puddles, Jon, with Garfield and Odie (his dog) hiding in the luggage, follows Liz to London, where they do the tourist oo-la, before heading for the country. Meanwhile, Garfield and Prince have chummed up, after Garfield impersonated Prince for a while and ate the castle pantries empty, which is so dorm feastified, it makes you want to slide in custard until the sun goes down.

By stuffing the script with garrulous animals and another Garfield (posh English variety), our main moggie is not entirely in your face at all times, where he needs to be. The story is mind-meltingly obvious and lacks the hint of a ghost of originality. Even the great Connolly cannot invoke the spirit of anarchy that lives and breathes in his water.

The four and five-year-old boys, who accompanied me, laughed a lot, especially at the bits I found derivative and poorly delivered. In fact, their giggles woke me a couple of times. Although their critical facilities do not stretch beyond whether salty popcorn is better than sweet, they said they reeeeely enjoyed the movie - and they weren't being polite.

So, does Garfield travel? I say no. They say yes.

I tell them, "I'm the boss. Get in the car."

Reviewed on: 26 Jul 2006
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Garfield has a double who lives like a king in an English castle.
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Director: Tim Hill

Writer: Joel Cohen, Alec Sokolow, based on the comic strip by Jim Davis

Starring: Breckin Meyer, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Billy Connolly, Ian Abercrombie, Roger Rees, Lucy Davis and the voices of Bill Murray, Tim Curry, Bob Hoskins, Joe Pasquale, Jane Horrocks, Richard E Grant, Rhys Ifans, Vinnie Jones, Sharon Osbourne

Year: 2006

Runtime: 78 minutes

BBFC: U - Universal

Country: US

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