Directed by: Brad Peyton
Starring: (Voices) James Marsden, Nick Nolte, Christina Applegate, Katt Williams, Bette Midler
On the scale of superfluity, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore is king of the scrap heap. There are a lot of dumb, pointless movies out there, but this one might just out-stupid them all. Not only is what we have here a bad movie, but a sequel to another bad movie that was, granted, a modest success about nine years ago, but which has largely been forgotten today. And if that’s not enough, we have a movie here that’s yet another jaunt into the subgenre of talking-animal flicks. This last part’s the kicker, since I can’t think of a generally more nauseating idea this side of attaching the Wayans Brothers’ name to a movie.
The general conceit of this whole mess is that not only can cats and dogs actually talk (they just keep it hidden from humans for some reason), but they’re fighting some sort of secret war. In the case of this film, however, cats and dogs are forced to team up to stop the evil Kitty Galore (voiced by Bette Midler).
And with that, you pretty much get the gist of the film, since, at a thankfully short 82 minutes, things don’t have to chance to get too complicated. The movie is made up of pop-culture references, mostly being a bestial take on James Bond films. The use of Roger Moore as a cat going by the name of Lazenby is curious, but none of it is terribly clever. When the movie isn’t referencing spy movies, it’s running the usual gamut of lazy send-ups of cultural touchstones, from the nearly two-decades-old The Silence of the Lambs (1991) to an odd — and somewhat obscure — reference to Tim Burton’s Batman (1989).
All of this fluctuates from the strange to the just plain dull, with nary a good idea to be had in the whole jumble, punctuated by every awful animal-related pun, joke or gag imaginable, right down to butt-sniffing dogs. By the time we get to Katt Williams (First Sunday) as a pigeon doing a modern day variation on the old Stepin Fetchit routine, it’s simply another bad idea in a film that’s a veritable catalog of bad ideas. Rated PG for animal action and humor.