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  Publicity Stills of "Garfield 2"
(Courtesy from 20th Century Fox)

Genre: Comedy
Director: Tim Hill
Starring: Breckin Meyer, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Billy Connolly, Bill Murray
RunTime: 1 hr 18 mins
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Rating: PG

Opening Day: 15 June 2006

Synopsis :

America’s favorite feline, Garfield, follows his owner, Jon, to England. The U.K. may never recover, as Garfield is mistaken for a look-alike, regal cat who has inherited a castle. Garfield savors the royal treatment afforded by his loyal “subjects,” but his “reign” is in jeopardy. The nefarious Lord Dargis is determined to do away with Garfield, so he can turn the castle into a resort.

Movie Review:

Before you assume that movies adapted from comics would not steer off in a direction that is too wrong, we’d advise you to think again. This 78-minute movie directed by Tim Hill is one comic adaptation which features almost nothing new and nothing to shout about. To make things worse, it is a sequel of the 2004 movie which wasn’t exactly a critics’ darling.

Based on the popular comic strip, this live-action movie tells the story of Jon (an uninteresting Breckin Meyer who reprises his 2004 role), who journeys to the United Kingdom to propose to his girlfriend Liz (a pretty Jennifer Love Hewitt whose only job in the movie is to look pretty).

Garfield (voiced by Bill Murray, who sounds adequately lazy and funny) follows Jon along for the trip and in a case of mistaken identities, the fat cat gets to rule a castle, not before getting into trouble with the evil Lord Dargis (Billy Connolly in a silly role), who has designs on the estate.

We understand that this is supposed to be a family entertainment movie, where everyone in the family can enjoy a nice night out at the cinema. But alas, it somehow did not occur to the filmmakers that we are now living in the 21st century, and the movie’s dated style of entertainment will not amuse today’s kids too much.

First, there are the typical slapstick moments where the villain gets himself into embarrassingly dirty situations. Then there are the talking animals which spout uninspiring lines that are not that hilarious in the first place. The animation in the movie is not spectacular too, because all viewers will get to see is an orange blob of fur which slogs around and occasionally cracks a few wise jokes.

The problem is, we have seen all these somewhere before, from some movie elsewhere. Think Chris Columbus’ Home Alone (1990) for those classic painful villain moments. Think Chris Noonan’s babe (1995) for a whole gang of talking animals. And we don’t think viewers would be exactly very thrilled to see an animated Garfield, given the advancements in animation technology now.

To be fair, the world’s laziest cat does have its few truly comical moments in the movie, which might milk a chuckle or two from the audience. Also, the style of animation can be considered old-school, if you subscribe to the train of thought that it lives up to the comic strips’ spirit.

What a waste it is then, taking into account that the movie features some of the best British voice talents. The credible list of voice actors include Bob Hoskins, Tim Curry, Richard E. Grant and Vinnie Jones, just to name a few. It is indeed a pity that their talents are not utilized fully, no thanks to an uninteresting script.

The humans in the movie did not excite us too much either. Meyer and Hewitt do not have much chemistry, and Connolly’s role is rather forgettable as well. Adding to these dull characters is an equally dull plot which contains several un-engaging side plots which viewers may not really care about.

There you have it - the reasons to why not all comics make good movie adaptations. Especially for this one, you need not be allergic to cats to know that this pile of kitty litter is not exactly top-notch entertainment.

Movie Rating:

(Another unnecessary movie sequel which proves that two wrongs cannot make a right)

Review by John Li

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