DVD/Blu-ray: Nine Lives | reviews, news & interviews
DVD/Blu-ray: Nine Lives
DVD/Blu-ray: Nine Lives
Feline groovy? If so, avoid this catastrophic cat comedy
It says a great deal about how very bad this film is that the pre-title montage of viral cat videos clawed from the internet is the most amusing sequence in it. This is one of the most cynical "family entertainment" movies to come out of the Hollywood machine in a long time. It has all the charm of smelling an atrophied mouse left behind the sofa by a vindictive moggy.
Kevin Spacey plays a Trump-esque mogul, Tom Brand, who is determined to build the tallest skyscraper in New York. He plasters his face all over his business in various heroic poses, but is loathed by all his investors and staff for being an egocentric monster. Wife number two (Jennifer Garner) frets that Brand doesn’t spend enough quality time with their daughter (a princessy Malina Weissman, main picture) and insists that he buys her a cat for her birthday. Cue a visit to a mysterious pet shop owned by Christopher Walken (pictured below), who takes a dislike to the arrogant Brand and magically transforms him into a cat (Mr Fuzzy Pants). The human promptly gets run over and ends up in a coma in hospital, while the cat goes home to Brand's luxury penthouse and causes havoc trying to communicate his true identity. Meanwhile Brand's business partners plot his downfall.
There's nothing fresh here: the pet shop sequence echoes the first Gremlins movie and makes one long for Joe Dante's inventiveness. The trope of adults undergoing magical body transformations in order to appreciate their life was better done in Freaky Friday and Big. Any of those comedies would make you happier than Nine Lives. The special effects are grim – the animatronic/CGI cat is lumpy and moves in a wholly unconvincing way, especially in scenes cut with footage of a real cat.
Extras include some cat training behind-the-scenes footage and dull bloopers. Barry Sonnenfeld, the once frisky director of Get Shorty, as well as the Addams Family and Men in Black franchises, should have known better. One can only hope that Spacey and Walken were so appalled with what they had to work with that they donated their fees to remedial comedy lessons for the five scriptwriters credited. Unlike cats, humans only have one life; don't waste it on this movie.
Overleaf: watch the trailer for Nine Lives
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