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Featured Movie Reviews

Dolittle


Flaunting a $175 million budget, Robert Downey's attempt to launch a new franchise, DOLITTLE is a beautiful, visually spectacular mess.

Sporting the worst accent since Kevin Costner butchered the Queen's English in "Robin Hood", Downey mumbles and sputters his lines throughout. He might be funny, I couldn't understand enough of his dialogue to really make a judgement.

The simply animated opening is one of the best moments of the film, letting us know that Dolittle can speak with the animals and lost the love of his life when she went on a great adventure of her own. It's quiet, well told and touching. But that's only the first two minutes of the film.

It moves into a beautiful, digitally rendered "real world" complete with the biggest, most spectacular menagerie of creatures since "Life of Pi".

We can hear the Doctor speaking to his animals and all their dialogue as well. A who's who of actors provide the voices.

Emma Thompson is loyal parrot sidekick Polynesia. Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody) is the timid, funny gorilla Chee Chee. John Cena is a polar bear, Kumal Nanjiani, Tom Holland, Octavia Spencer & Ralph Fiennes all bring personality to the animals.

They're all sent off on a grand adventure to find a legendary island and a single tree that can provide an antidote for a dying queen.

On paper, the adventure is fine, the pieces look interesting, but it all seems more like a collection of random nonsense that's beautiful to look at but completely lacking any kind of momentum.

Writer/Director Stephen Gaghan has made some incredible dramas like "Syriana" and "Traffic", but what he doing mounting a massive family film? It's not a good fit.

There are a couple actors that deliver and escape no worse for wear. Antonio Banderas is menacing fun as King Rassouli, the father of John's lost love.

Michael Sheen (Prodigal Son)steals the movie as a rival Doctor determined to defeat Dolittle's quest. He has a ton of great one liners and he delivers the only real laughs in the movie, gnashing the scenery and nailing every punchline.

I think when a pivotal moment of the finale hinges on a giant dragon fart that blasts Dolittle in the face for ten seconds, you might have a problem with your story structure.

That being said, Downey's expression during that event was mirrored on my own as this bloated, lumbering extravaganza noisily chattered forward.

My grandson Jonah got bored and left halfway through to go play video games in the other room. Smart kid.

I'll prescribe the Doctor a D.

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