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In a small Massachusetts town, two bumbling criminals mistakenly kidnap a maid, thinking her to be the wife of a prominent businessman. D.C., short for Darn Cat, is an alley cat who, while looking for his nightly snack, stumbles upon the kidnap victim, bound and gagged in a shed. The kidnap victim scratches a plea for help on the back of her wristwatch and puts it around the cat's neck. Patti finds the watch and links it to the missing maid. Playing amateur detective, she enlists the aid of an FBI agent, Zeke, who has been assigned to the case. Patti and Zeke follow D.C. through tight openings to track down the captive. Written by
"That Darn Cat" is a makeover of the Disney film with Haley Mills. This time around, the world is darker, the main character is darker...and the cat is darker.
Christina ("Addams Family," "Sleepy Hollow") Ricci is the main character for our story. She's a psychopathic, Gothic creature with black all around. She moves to a new town, finds a new cat, finds a new mystery, and solves it (I wasn't expecting that). Along the way is Thomas F. Wilson, better known as Biff from "Back to the Future," and Michael McKean--who does a bunch of nothing considering how funny the guy usually is.
"That Darn Cat" fails on a lot of levels. It's watchable, and probably should be seen once on TV, but I wouldn't go out of your way to see it.
Christina Ricci is fine as the title character; but I found that the whole moody, Gothic thing was a bit overdone--whether it was on the script like that or not, it was overbearing. They kept stressing to the audience, "This girl is dark," but I think I got it the first time.
Dean Jones, from the original "That Darn Cat," makes a few cameos in this flick. Whatever happened to him? The last I remember him in a film without being a cameo was "Beethoven"...
Thomas F. Wilson does seem to prove he can act out characters other than Biff, Griff and Buford Tannen, but if I were him I wouldn't quit the day job just yet--a film like this isn't going to get him back in the acting arena.
The film's gags don't exactly work all the time. Sometimes they work a little bit, but on the whole, this film is a pretty big mess that should only be seen on television when nothing good is on.
2/5 stars -
P.S.--Be on the lookout for cameos galore, including "Cheers" man John Ratzenburger.
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