Cats (2019)

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I have never seen the musical that this film is based on but I am familiar with Andrew Lloyd Webber as I love Phantom of the Opera and everything about it. With that thought, I figured an adaptation of another of his musicals would be solid. The initial trailer was polarizing and drew warranted ire. To make matters worse the reviews that came out yesterday absolutely trashed the film. Now having seen it, it is safe to say that this film is laughably horrendous and certainly the worst film of the year. Wow, this was an incredible level of bad.

The film is about an abandoned cat named Victoria who is dropped into the streets one night. She becomes familiar with the other local cats of the town. It turns out there is a gang of cats named Jellicle’s and she learns how to be one of them. There is a Jellicle ball where the selected cat wins the competition and gets sent to Heaviside Layer, which is desired by the cats. This film has an impressive ensemble cast, all of whom must be hanging their head in shame because this now appears on their resume.

From the opening scene the theater burst into laughter. Not because the film was intentionally comedic at the moment but because the CGI/effects are absolutely atrocious. I would have preferred regular live characters in cat make up than the off putting and at times creepy human face on effect heavy cat body. At times I wondered if Tom Hooper was self aware with how terrible everything looked but then I remembered he is a filmmaker linked with Oscar nominated films and don’t think that was the case. The film was much like Les Miserables from Hooper which I also hated. Its almost completely music, song after song so its dull and boring.

The film feels so long because of the incessant singing and dancing and this makes it feel like there’s nothing going on. The plot is incredibly thin and its painfully obvious. Its just song and dance introducing a new cat who then fades away into the background. Didn’t care a whole lot for the music, although I am sure that its technically great. Not even Taylor Swift (who I love), could redeem this morbid affair. Even the intended humorous cat characters like Rebel Wilson and James Corden fall miserably flat.

I thought Black Christmas was going to be my worst film of 2019 but lo and behold a week later something takes that honor quick. It was an unwatchable horror show. People may like this for the so bad its good factor but for me this was a painful time. After hearing critical reaction I knew it would be bad and that is exactly what this is. Tom Hooper won’t be living this failure down for a while.



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