Wanna hear my new “pet” peeve? Well, I’m going to tell you anyway. It’s “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore.” Not only does the utterly unnecessary sequel to 2001’s espionage parody “Cats & Dogs” redefine the term “heavy petting,” it presumes to treat the viewer’s mind as its personal litter box, depositing loads of animal waste.
Wanna hear my new “pet” peeve? Well, I’m going to tell you anyway. It’s “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore.”
Not only does the utterly unnecessary sequel to 2001’s espionage parody “Cats & Dogs” redefine the term “heavy petting,” it presumes to treat the viewer’s mind as its personal litter box, depositing loads of animal waste.
The stench is overwhelming. But what stinks even worse is the idea of dropping the monetary equivalent of two bags of puppy chow on a dog that hasn’t learned a single trick since Checkers threatened to bring down the vice presidency.
That is unless you count the cheesy 3-D effects that make it possible to fling canines and felines at an audience ready to hurl from ingesting too many rancid jokes.
Let’s see. There are the references to “Silence of the Lambs,” Tim Burton’s “Batman” and umpteen Bond movies, all filmed long before the parents of “Kitty’s” target audience were even born. Then there are the groan-inducing puns, such as warning the pinchers at DOG Headquarters to keep their paws off the Dobermans.
Ha, ha, I almost forgot to laugh.
No. It’s more a case of the filmmakers forgetting to make me laugh. It’s easy to understand why, though, given the smug, self-satisfied mentality of “artists” under the delusion of thinking themselves funny.
They are the real menace at the heart of “Kitty Galore,” or at least more so than the title character, a bitter, revenge-minded sphinx (voiced by Bette Midler) out to create a race … err … species war. In other words, serve as a trite metaphor for the failure of whites and nonwhites, gays and straights and men and women to, in the immortal words of Rodney King, “all get along.”
You know what that means, don’t you? Yup, cats and dogs must work together to bring down Kitty, and in the process learn that they really aren’t all that different. How profound!
OK, it might have been had director Brad Peyton and the writing team of Ron J. Friedman and Steve Bencich strove for something beyond pop-culture jokes and references to R-rated movies like “Scarface,” and characters like Hannibal the Cannibal, who, in this jejune world, enjoys a bowl of milk more than a fine Chianti.
The irony of course is that you’re gonna need that Chianti to suffer through all 80 minutes of an onslaught of anthropomorphic cats and dogs conducting their spy games while their clueless masters look the other way.
Who knew our pets were so nocturnally busy? No wonder they sleep all day. I just wanna know why the government isn’t paying us a stipend for using our furry friends to conduct such dangerous missions.
I’m sure there’s a good explanation. But I’m not so sure there’s one for making a movie as relentlessly awful as “Kitty Galore.” Or, why so many actors – including Michael Clarke Duncan, Roger Moore, Christina Applegate, Sean Hayes, James Marsden and Nick Nolte – opted to sully their reputations for a little extra kibble. At least they don’t show their faces like Chris O’Donnell and Jack McBrayer do.
No one, though, should hang their head lower than Katt Williams, who makes Jar Jar Binks look tame by comparison, in providing the jive-heavy voice of Shamus the penguin. How’s that racial equality thingy working for you now?
Not so good, is it? And neither is “Kitty Galore.”
Patriot Ledger writer Al Alexander may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CATS & DOGS: THE REVENGE OF KITTY GALORE (PG for animal action and humor.) Cast includes the voices of Bette Midler, Michael Clarke Duncan, Roger Moore, Christina Applegate, Sean Hayes, James Marsden, Joe Pantoliano and Nick Nolte. Directed by Brad Peyton. 1 star out of 4.