- James Corden, Judi Dench, Francesca Hayward
- Lee Hall, Tom Hooper
- Tom Hooper
- G (Canada), PG (United States)
- Running Time
- 110 minutes
- Release Date
- December 20th, 2019
We now live in a post Cats world – and it can’t be reversed.
Over the past few months, since the release of its first trailer, Cats has gained quite the following – but not for the right reasons. Internet and social media users have been openly sharing how terrified they are of the look of the film’s titular cats, created by a revolutionary “digital fur technology” applied to the actors. Although the stage musical does contain anthropomorphic characters, the off-putting sexualization and strange contrast between face and body has strongly freaked out any who have followed any of the promotional material. Does the film deliver on that expectation? Yes, but it may be even worse.
Let’s address the huge elephant in the room with Cats, which is the visuals – and yes, these cats are EXACTLY as terrifying as you were promised. The way that the cats actually look is nightmare fuel in the first place, but the way they are positioned in the film makes it even worse. The way they move feels extremely unnatural and uncomfortable and they are poorly animated and merged with the human faces. Meanwhile, audiences will surely not forget the mice and cockroaches, which will be present in nightmares for the next 5 years.
However, the true inherent issue with Cats was the way in which the characters were shot. The creative team behind the film have decided to get fancy with their camerawork, using extreme close ups in a way that’s supposed to seem stylistic, but ends up putting the audience way too close to the characters in a way that is both headache inducing and nauseating. If any are even slightly uncomfortable by the visual style here, there’s no way to not harbour any feelings towards the film that aren’t hate.
Cats is also way too complex for its own good. The stage show has been praised for its absence of plot, and its use of characters to forward the story. The film adaptation definitely lacks plot, but there’s no good reason or explanation as to why. Looking back, it’s hard to remember any individual moments that truly stood out as thy are all blended into a bloated mess sprayed all over the screen. Additionally, its poor structure and absence of any story or character makes the film unnecessarily hard to follow and even more of a chore to sit through. The actors don’t add anything to this, as they just play into the larger nonsensical narrative with absolutely no emotions or arcs that translate over to the audience well.
The music in Cats may be okay, but it’s honestly difficult to determine due to the dumpster fire it’s buried under. In the context of this already extremely annoying and uninteresting film, the music is just a layer that gets lost between all the nonsense.
Pros: there were some pretty neon colors.
In the end, Cats is the type of film that begs the question; do its creators of this even like movies? Lacking any sort of redeemable qualities, this is an absolute trainwreck. All the individually obnoxious aspects, including but not limited to the horrifying visuals, dizzying camerawork and nonsensical plot merge into a huge ball of nothing that leaves the audience frustrated.
All of the public’s worries are justified in Cats, and it’s just too unfortunate that it exists.
*still courtesy of Universal Pictures*