It sounds like a winning formula. You take a universally recognized musical, combine it with a winning cast of fan favorites, and you make a movie. Unfortunately, for “Cats” something went wrong along the way with bad decisions made over the look of the film, and that has made what should have been a slam dunk success into a very hard to watch affair.
Goodness this cast is incredible. Judi Dench, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden, Idris Elba, it goes on and on, with the classic music and characters in tact.
But as you may have heard when the trailer was released, everything is digitized straight into the litter box. These beautiful talents look absolutely terrible, almost nightmarish, and director Tom Hooper insists that we stare these poorly rendered creations right in the eye for a large portion of the film. Their faces are out of place, the strong choreography is lost in the way the dancers move in this bizarre environment, and everything done on screen misses the tone of the narrative almost completely.
Honestly, I would have preferred this cast acting out the musical in plain clothes as opposed to this. At least then we would be able to enjoy the passion this group puts into the project that gets lost in the final product.
What keeps this mess from being a complete failure are the vocals. Jennifer Hudson belts out her numbers effortlessly. Taylor Swift is interesting in this new environment despite it’s lack of quality, and Dench along with Ian McKellen do manage to power through the junk to inject some emotion.
It’s still really bad and you should skip it. If you love the material, I would suggest taking a blindfold to the theater if you’re absolutely determined to see this film.
Running time: 1 hr 49 minutes