Worth A Look: 4.82%
Pretty Bad: 9.64%
Total Crap: 75.3%
8 reviews, 118 user ratings
|Cat in the Hat, The
by Chris Parry
I quite enjoy watching bad movies. It's always been a bit of a personal kink of mine to watch a film that I know will truly stink, because then I get to come out and tell the world how bad it was, thereby taking some aggression out on the worst of the film industry. In my humble opinion, it's very hard to make a great movie, but it's really easy to *try* to make a great movie. If you try and fail, you get a passing grade for the effort. But if you don't even try, if you just churn out crap for the dumbest consumers out there, the people that will pay to see a movie even after the critics have carpetbombed it - if that's your target audience and your level of quality... I'm ready to dropkick your ass in print. All of chich brings us to The Cat in the Hat, quite possibly the worst waste of time, money, and concept seen since... well, ever. This is a movie that is so bad, I couldn't finish it. even for professional reasons, I just couldn't subject myself to any more than an hour of it. It hurt that bad.Oh, sure, the pursists now have their chance to beat on me a little - "he didn't even watch it through to the end! How can he review it?" A decent question, but one that is simple to answer; do I really need to stick a knitting needle all the way through my eye to know that it hurts? Should I take my shoes off an jump up and down on broken glass for an hour, just in case it gets any better after a while? Does a serial murderer become a community leader once he's made it past victim #28?
"Burn the negatives. Burn them 'til they're dead."
No. Bad is bad, especially when it's this bad. Quite frankly, if the Cat in the Hat became American Beauty meets Citizen Kane in the last hour, it still wouldn't make up for the reprehensible besmirching of the Dr Seuss name that takes place in the first. Let's run down the list of things that are out of place here: 1) Fart jokes. 2) Ass crack. 3) Sexual innuendo... with children. 4) Projectile vomit. 5) Swearing. 6) Dismemberment.
I guess I just missed those pages when I was reading the books this garbage was supposedly based on, but then again, considering the amount of raunch in the film, perhaps I can assume those pages were stuck together...
The Cat (showing off his car): Here she is, the Super Luxurious Omnidirectional Whatchamajigger, or S-L-O-W for short.
The Cat: Yeah, S.L.O.W. It's better than the last thing we had: Super Hydraulic Instantaneous Transporter?
Conrad: Oh, you mean...
The Cat: NO!
This film, which I willingly exposed myself to, even though I'd seen the reviews, is as vile and ugly and without worth as anything that has come off a terrorist's home video camera in downtown Mosul. Exposing your kids to the nastiness therein is somewhat akin to sitting them down in a cardboard box full of cockroaches and saying, "get comfortable." It is abuse of the most horrid level. The Cat in the Hat is supposed to be a children's classic book, at least that's how I remember it, but after seeing the film version, I now have no good memories of Dr Seuss. Instead, I rock back and forth, mumbling something about 'the voices' while peeing my pants uncontrollably and stabbing the back of my hand with a spork.
The Cat: Wow! This is just like the carnival, just without the abused animals and the drunken clowns with hepatitis.
Storyline: Mom has left the kids with a babysitter so she can work, with explicit instructions having been given that the youngsters are not to go near the living room, which has been cleaned up for an office party later that night. Suddenly, there's a six foot cat in the house, and he's fairly determined to make trouble. Oh, and the goldfish talks. don't ask me why, he just does. I think it's to give comic relief, but instead of being funny, he pretty much just gets as exasperated as the audience at what's going on in the house.
The Cat: C'mon kids, you're gonna listen to him? He drinks where he pees!
An abomination this huge could only happen when you give a first time director and long time production designer a huge budget and no sensible person to watch over them. But Bo Welch can't take the full brunt of responsibility for this nightmare - the incompetent boobs that put their name to this screenplay (and those that didn't) have to take a large dose of unemployment for their part in the mess. Alec Berg, David Mandel and Jeff Schaffer (yes, thje guys that brought you that children's classic, Eurotrip) - shame on you all! To go from Seinfeld to this is the sign of a group of men hellbent on career self-destruction. Seek help. Lay off the coke. Don't have children.
Kids: She's the babysitter.
The Cat: You pay this woman to sit on babies? That's disgusting...
Yes people, that's the level of screenplay we're dealing with here. It is utterly unfunny, and the most unfunny aspect of it is Mike Myers himself, who engages in as much brutalizing of the audience with his terrible schtick as his namesake does in any number of Halloween movies. Myers starts the Cat off with a NewYork Jewish accent, then switches to Scottish, then goes back to Dr Evil, then Austin powers, then Wayne from Wayne's World - all without any actual attempt at homage. It's just really bad characterization mixed in with really bad script and really bad performance.
Added to which - he looks NOTHING like a cat! The original Cat in the Hat was tall and skinny with short hair - this one looks like someone has beaned him in the face with a shovel and then sprayed hair growth formula all over it. Which, when you think about it, makes him look a little like Cameron Diaz. Hmm.
[after cutting his tail off with a meat cleaver]
The Cat: Son of a (beep)!
Damn right, son of a bleep. The Cat in the Hat cost an estimated $130m to make, and it earned back about $20m less, which is about $109m more than it should have. I've seen snuff films that were easier on my delicate densibilities. I've had more fun being run over by a passing car. In years to come, people will look back on The Cat in the Hat with as much admiration and respect as they look back on Pol Pot. And that such a hideous mess can be made of one of the most widely read and well loved children's book characters goes beyond the pale.
Let me repeat - the people that funded this film spent $130m on the writers of EuroTrip and a first time director. I don't suppose anyone should be surprised that it sucked ass.I've only walked out on three films in my life; Salo: The 120 Days of Sodom, Blood Sucking Freaks, and this one. And that should tell you all you need to know about whether it's worth renting for your children.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=8346&reviewer=1
originally posted: 12/11/04 10:45:58