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On The War Against Radical Feline-ism

Movie Review: Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (2010)
Spoilers: none

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In the ugly, no-holds-barred, all-out war for the worst kid's movie, this sequel (9 years out from the 2001 original and decent film, Cats & Dogs) crawls to the bottom (not the top) of the list. The top would be where the runner-ups for the worst come in, but this one – part two, The Revenge of Kitty Galore – is one of the better among rotten kid's movies that critics will love to hate.

In summation, it is just another secret agent, talking animal movie where the animals converse, hold and manipulate objects, and employ technology like any forerunner or sustainer of human civilization. The animals are just like humans, which, if you think about it, should be considered at least a little creepy. The film involves spin-offs of James Bond character names and perhaps every joke or pun ever used about cats, dogs, birds, and mice, as household pets.

The dogs are out to defend their best friend mankind against the evils of “radical feline-ism.” Like you'd expect, the dogs and cats despise each other, but are going to have to work together to save the planet from an eminent threat—the threat of Kitty Galore, a survivor of an accident in a vat of hair removal compound. Having been disowned by her humans, she vows revenge. Good call for a villain (who even wants to like a hairless cat?)

The dog's squid-like headquarters of underground passageways looks pretty impressive. The top gears on their transportation shuttles are “K-8” and then, of course, “K-9.” There are so many quips used about technology and household appliances and cat litter – and crazy cat ladies and cats getting high on catnip like human stoners – as there is the employment of advanced animatronic developments to make it seem a cut or two above what it is.

The animal personalities are never complex. Their back-and-forth goes like “good cop, bad cop” routines from Hawaii Five-0 or any in the whopping number of simplistic hero personalities from any dated TV series or cult classic flicks. Some verbal exchanges end with a “Hey, wait up” while one character walks off from another after the delivery of a sappy line.

Yes, Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore is ingloriously bad, but will entertain everyone under the age of 8—almost guaranteed. It stands somewhat near the edge of the line of the “so bad it's good” ranking, but falls back in that all except the very young will have a blast hating it. Just don't hate it too much.

To its credit, the pacing is swift enough to allow for the loathing of only one cheap line and base-level attempt at humor at a time before the scenes and situations change. When it gets to things like parodying James Bond and Silence of the Lambs, it is trying very hard to provide witty nourishment for the adults in hopes that they will be less anxious to trash it along with the rest of the 12-year-olds who have outgrown it. It is doubtful that this strategy will win over very many.

The film's failure is not for lack of star power--not with the voice talents of Christina Applegate, Katt Williams, Nick Nolte, Bette Midler, and Roger Moore. It's not that the film is not enough; it's that it’s too much. It could have been much worse. It could have done as badly as this year's Furry Vengeance, which was pure torture to watch. As it stands, The Revenge of Kitty Galore sequel is an unneeded one that, if it had to be made, should well have gone straight to DVD.

(JH)

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Grade: D+ (1 ½ stars)
Rated: PG (for perilous action scenes)
Director: Brad Peyton
Summary: The ongoing war between the canine and feline species is put on hold when they join forces to thwart a rogue cat spy with her own sinister plans for conquest.
Starring: James Marsden "Diggs" (voice), Nick Nolte "Butch" (voice), Christina Applegate "Catherine" (voice), Katt Williams "Seamus" (voice), Bette Midler "Kitty Galore" (voice), Neil Patrick Harris "Lou" (voice), Sean Hayes "Mr. Tinkles" (voice), Wallace Shawn "Calico" (voice), Roger Moore "Tab Lazenby" (voice), Joe Pantoliano "Peek" (voice), Michael Clarke Duncan "Sam" (voice)
Genre: Action / Comedy / Family
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