The Review: We all have inspirations for the things that we do. While I’m probably modelled more after a Barry Norman sort of movie reviewer, it’s plain to see where many directors and writes get their inspiration from. Christopher Nolan has admitted that his love for Bond movies has fed through into this year’s Inception, and it turns out it’s not the only movie this year with a love of things James Bond.
From the opening credits, which try to capture that Bond movie vibe to the extent of even roping in a Shirley Bassey cover version that the kids might know to getting Sir Roger Moore (we salute you, sir) to be the voice of one of the more senior cats, there’s some definite Bond love on show in this sequel, much more so than in the original. Both cats and dogs have secret lairs which have a very Ken Adam feel to them, and the tone is generally more focussed towards action and moving the plot along than cheap jokes about animals.
That’s not to say there aren’t cheap jokes about animals, and plenty of then, which is what anyone returning from the first movie might be expecting. Original bad guy Mr. Tinkles (Sean Hayes) is sidelined here into a Silence of the Lambs parody, while Bette Midler’s titular Kitty gets the main evil role, and the movie actually suffers as a result, Kitty being a one note villain that’s not a very interesting note. However, the voice work for most of the hero characters is better and will allow the youngsters in the audience to engage fully with the characters. This is a movie that skews very young, unsurprisingly.
Of the humans, Chris O’Donnell gets the main speaking role and adds little; in a way it’s sad to see him reduced to a straight man for talking animals, but he serves that purpose here and that’s about it. All in all, you won’t be surprised to hear this isn’t a great movie, but it’s not as bad as you might have expected and there’s a few chuckles on the way. If you, like me, wander out of every James Bond movie you’ve ever seen making a gun shape with your hands and singing the theme tune, there are worse things you could inflict on your children.
Why see it at the cinema: Actually, the main reason isn’t the movie at all: Warners have followed Pixar’s lead and attached a short to the programme, and this one is a fully realised 3D CGI version of Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote. I must confess to that being my favourite Looney Tune when I was growing up, and while this doesn’t completely recapture that old school magic, it is better than the movie itself and there’s two more on the way, apparently.
Why see it in 3D: Because if you’re going to see this, you have either got weird tastes or young children; they are the age group that 3D currently appeals to the most, and there are enough things whizzing towards the screen to keep them entertained.
The Score: 4/10