Hollywood seems to have taken to coughing up hairballs rather seriously. The
second animal release this week, 'Cats and Dogs' is a flick strictly for the
under-13s, and doesn't seem to make any bones about the whole thing.
It's a dog-eat-cat world out there, and there's a raging war between the felines
and canines as they battle it out to the finish in their struggle to be man's
best friends. The felines have never had it this bad as they watch in angst,
the droopy, dopey-eyed pups and dogs hogging all the attention. With enough
gadgets and gadgetry to put Bond and the Pentagon to shame, the war continues
right under unaware human nostrils.
Battlefield Brody house: Pop Brody (Jeff Goldblum) is a scientist working hard
to discover a cure for persons allergic to dogs. This gets the cats all worked
up as it would result in more dog lovers across the world, which would spell
doom for the felines (over-dramatic li'l puss, don'tcha think?).
Enter evil cat Mr. Tinkles (voice of Sean Hayes), who has nefarious plans of
his own. He plans to steal the formula, alter its composition and then use it
to make humans allergic to dogs. The dogs, though, get wind of the scheming,
and counter-scheme. The undercover doggy agents (whose motto is 'fetch and protect')
plan to get one of their own agents to protect the scientist. But due to some
4-paw mix-up, a beagle Lou (Toby Maguire) ends up at the Brody house.
Eager-to-please Lou is an 'awww - shucks' kinda dog - the types so agonizingly
cute, you can't help but gush all over them. But then he isn't exactly Indiana
Jones when it comes to action that requires some heavy duty chops and kicks
to ward off Ninja cats (with some pretty nifty night vision gogs) who don't
mind squandering their 9 lives to end the rule of the dogs.
Butch (voice of Alec Baldwin) soon takes him under his fur - ahem, wings. A
wizened ex-secret-service agent, he teaches the new dog some old tricks. The
rest of the flick deals with the dogs warding and fending off the evil advances
made by Mr. Tinkles' henchmen.
The movie is fun if you fall in the 'see dog / cat / anything furry mounted
on 4 feet - gush - smile - grin moronically' category. Otherwise you need to
be the parent of a hyperactive little kid who still wants puss-in-boots posters
in his room. There are ample fun sequences for kids who haven't shed their milk
teeth, but no bones seem to be thrown in us adults' favor. So we suffer through
some inane sequences.
But then again you have to see the flick in order to see Butch, who not only
sounds like Alec Baldwin but looks like him too - if you can actually remember
what he looks like. Apart from that the only other okay sequence is the Matrix
one with the feisty fascist felines all geared up to kick some butt. This, though
you gotta watch.
Don't even try to understand the story, tag along for some brainless giggles.