Cats & Dogs

**1/2

Reviewed by: Symon Parsons

Cats And Dogs
"Even the young kids in the audience seemed bored. (There was a stampede for the toilets after about 20 minutes.)"

I'm a cat person. I have always found cats cute and adorable even if they are also PURE EVIL. Really. If we were suddenly shrunk to the size of a mouse, I think we all know that our cats would pretty soon have us between two slices of bread.

Therefore this movie, which features Evil Cats attempting to take over the world, should be right up my street.

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Should have been; but sadly isn't. Bit of a shame there. Because, despite a great opening sequence which begins with a routine dog-and-cat chase and ends with said dog being "disappeared" by a sinister gang of cats driving a van, the film never fulfills the promise of its premise.

The story concerns a plot by a megalomaniacal Persian cat named Mr Tinkles to make the entire world allergic to dogs. Blocking the path to world domination is a beagle puppy named Loser (Tobey Maguire) who lives with inventor Jeff Goldblum. He is working on a vaccine to cure dog allergies. Consequently, his work is of vital significance to both sides.

So begins a James Bond type struggle as Mr. Tinkles sends his best kitty agents up against Loser and his mentor Buddy (Alec Baldwin) including an adorable little grey kitten with a Russian accent.

A Russian ACCENT? Yes, animals can all talk in this film, but humans don't know it, which leads to some amusing "Far Side" moments. (As when dogs in a conference spot humans coming: "Quick Stan! Sniff my butt!")

Given the high-concept idea, it sounds like a great kids' comedy.

Mr. Tinkles is a wonderful comic creation - the pet of a near-dead billionaire who drives them both around his owner's factory in a motorised wheelchair, greeting workers with, "Good day human employee, I am your employer and not at all an evil cat bent on world domination." Unfortunately, there's a distinct lack of this sort of nasty humour and the whole thing gets bogged down in sentiment early on. Even the young kids in the audience seemed bored. (There was a stampede for the toilets after about 20 minutes.)

So a missed opportunity. If you're a parent of young kids, let your partner take them. And watch Shrek instead.

Message ends. Cats Rule. Out.

Reviewed on: 01 Aug 2001
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Evil cats try to take over the world.
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