Tom Brand (Kevin Spacey) is a daredevil billionaire at the top of his game. His eponymous company FireBrand is nearing completion on its greatest achievement to date – the tallest skyscraper in the northern hemisphere. But Tom’s workaholic lifestyle has disconnected him from his family, particularly his beautiful wife Lara (Jennifer Garner) and his adoring daughter Rebecca (Malina Weissman). Rebecca’s 11th birthday is here, and she wants the gift she wants every year, a cat. Tom hates cats, but he is without a gift and time is running out. His GPS directs him to a mystical pet store brimming with odd and exotic cats- where the store’s eccentric owner- Felix Perkins (Christopher Walken), presents him with a majestic tomcat, named Mr. Fuzzypants. En route to present his daughter with her dream pet, a bizarre turn of events finds Tom trapped inside the body of Mr. Fuzzypants. Adopted by his own family, he begins to experience what life is truly like for the family pet, and as a cat, Tom .
This was the movie everyone sneaked into see after watching Suicide Squad.
I kept thinking to myself, why would Barry Sonnenfeld make a movie like this?
Also thinking that House of Cards star, Kevein Spacey could have landed himself a better between seasons gig. So what’s going on?
I’ll tell you what’s going on, that cat is the reason why you want to see this movie.
Kevin Spacey’s soul gets trapped into a cat thanks to Christopher Walken, because he’s neglecting his family for his company. In his attempts to convince his family that he’s the cat, he starts doing the cutest things, thus becoming the longest (Possibly the most expensive) Youtube cat video ever made .
There was one scene when the Cat (With Kevin Spacey’s voice), attempts to write a letter to his family stating he’s stuck in the cat. When the cat picks up the pen, my eyes popped out of my socket. Sure, as he starts to write you realize that this is CGI, but I was hooked.
From that moment on it became about when was this cat going to reappear on the screen. I should have known this was going to happen as the movie started out with clips of cat’s on the internet.
As great of as Spacey is at playing the jerk you can’t help but to love, That cat was the real movie star here. Every time it shares a scene with the little girl playing Spacey’s daughter in the movie I’m all like “so Cute”.
As you can tell I’m a cat lover. If you are a cat lover you might enjoy the film as much as I do. Other than that. it’s literally ninety minutes of nothing only worth seeing if you have nine lives to live.
I’ll start by saying that I am not the target audience for this movie. I’m a single 38 year old man who hates cats. I also am a minister and I was asked to go along with a youth group from my church, so I went, not really knowing what I was getting myself into–I thought the movie was animated right up until the time that it started.
That said, this is a live action film starring Jennifer Garner and Kevin Spacey. The gist of the plot is that Spacey plays a business tycoon whose little girl wants a cat for her birthday–but before Spacey gets the gift to the party, he’s involved in an accident that leaves his body in a coma and his soul trapped in the body of the cat.
So what to say about this movie. To state the pros, it could be worse. I’ve given it four stars because that seems about right–it’s a bad movie, but there are worse movies that have been made. The acting isn’t terrible, and there are a few laughs spread throughout the film. I suppose if you were a cat lover you might like it, although I must say that the lady in our group who is the biggest cat lover of all (and I’m talking like, her entire house is decorated in cat stuff and she currently has thirteen cats living in her home) didn’t like the movie because she thought the scenes were a bit rough on the cat. Those scenes were obviously CGI effects, but still–you get the idea.
As for the cons, again there’s the “rough treatment of the cat thing”. But the much larger issue for me was that this was a kids movie that just didn’t know how to be a kids movie very well. I know I said above that I’m a minister, and so it would be easy to pigeonhole my next comment as my being a prude, but trust me, that’s not the case. I’m just a reasonably smart adult who knows the difference between a movie made for kids and one that’s not. And this movie falls flat in the whole kid friendly department. Again, this is a movie about a man being trapped in a cat’s body, and it was extremely clear that the target audience here was kids. Yeah, well….read on.
First off, there is enough of a weird vibe going on with this script that it almost borders on deranged in the first place. I said almost. I’m not one of those people that looks down my nose at Harry Potter or anything like that, and I get that the gist of the story is all in good fun–but there’s this whole element of mysticism involved in this movie, what with the soul swap thing and a strange “cat whisperer” played by Christopher Walken (as if waiting expectantly for him to produce a gold watch out of his pocket wasn’t bad enough). That said, there’s this almost Halloweenish feel to the movie–despite its being happy go lucky and kid oriented throughout most of the film. So the vibe of the script is the first red flag.
Then you get into some particulars. The cat gets drunk off of scotch at one point. OK, again, I’m no prude–but why make intoxication a source of humor for a kids movie? Or the couple of times that a swear word was almost used? “Son of a….” trailing off into nothing. The little boy behind me turned to his mother and said “Oh, he almost said a bad word!” Why even have that in a kids movie? OR, for that matter, at one point Spacey’s character does in fact say “damn”. OK, I get it. It’s 2016, not 1956. And certainly there are other kid friendly movies that have used their fair share of light swear words. E.T. The Goonies. Ghostbusters, etc. None of those movies were as childish or as overtly marketed to kids as this one was, though.
And finally, at the end of the film there’s a scene in which it is strongly implied that a character is about to commit suicide. I won’t spoil it for you, but the point is that to even imply something like that is a little heavy for a movie targeted to fourth graders, if you ask me.
I’m sure if I wanted to nitpick I could think of a few more problematic scenes. The relationship between Garner and Spacey and Spacey’s ex is a bit odd for a kids movie. In fact, as I’m finishing up this review, it’s just now hit me what the problem is: Someone decided to combine a romantic comedy with a kids movie. That’s it! This movie is half “Bridesmaids” and half Disney, and the result is a strange film that doesn’t fit well into either of those genres, thus falling flat all the way around.
All that said, again, there are worse movies that have been made. But this is a bad movie, and there are better things to spend your money on at the box office right now.