The Cat in the Hat (2003)
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For five whole minutes I thought I was in the clear. The opening credits are clever, the kids are charming and the production values are top notch. Then the cat showed up. There are many problems from this point on, but the biggest one was the woeful miscasting of Mike Myers. Where "The Grinch" was saved by the inspired casting of Jim Carrey, "The Cat" was destroyed by Myers. He can be very funny when his energies are applied where they belong, comic sketches. Every movie he's made that was truly funny was really just a feature length comedy sketch, from "Wayne's World" to "Austin Powers". So he tries to do the same thing here, it's just that these comedy sketches are more like the stuff that they stick at the end of SNL, not funny, just painful. Not that the writers helped him out any. After the charming prologue the movie turns into an hour of repulsive bodily humor gags, poorly timed pratfalls and insultingly stunted attempts at hip humor. This movie was the most disheartening cinematic experience I have ever had. Period. So much talent and work went into something so vile. I know that the adult stars of this movie will be relatively unscathed by this mess, I just hope that the wonderful Spencer Breslin and Dakota Fanning will get more chances to show their charms in far better movies. If you are a parent, please avoid this like the plague. With movies like "Elf" and "Brother Bear" currently in theaters, you have far better choices.
I am aware that I seem to hold the opposite opinion to most, but I just feel it's fair for people to read an alternative view on this film. Many will disagree with what I have to say and that's fine, but I think this is worth reading anyway.
I understand the criticism for those who grew up with Dr Seuss and their expectations of this film would have been completely different – and therefore they were left utterly disappointed. However, if you are able to separate this film from your Dr Seuss expectations, it is actually a funny, clever and enjoyable film.
If you're not a fan of Mike Meyers, you probably would not be bothered to sit through this, however he is very funny in this part. The acting overall from the cast isn't the greatest but it does hold up for this film. Dakota Fanning is fantastic as usual and Alec Baldwin is a great inclusion here.
There are some brilliant lines in this film and the laughs are continuous. It's stupid and clever at the same time, not all the jokes are so obvious which appeals to an older audience. I agree, for kids it's not the most appropriate movie but they could still enjoy the silly side of it and the great visuals. For adults, I think it's a scream. I have recommended it to many (initially very hesitant to give it a go) who find themselves thoroughly enjoying it.
I think it really depends on the attitude you have going into watching this film that affects your final judgment of it. Go in with an open mind, understand that it's not going to be your typical child-friendly Dr Seuss story, it will be silly but it will also be very funny if you notice some of the subtle jokes they have included in it (for a more mature audience).
It's just a bit of fun and I wish people would not be so critical of it. Yes you may not love it, but you will laugh at at least a few things! Considering there is so much rubbish out there, I honestly think that this definitely isn't the worst of the worst and that those people that despise it would give it another go, removing those Dr Seuss expectations.
Be kind and try to enjoy this film, it deserves that.
Jim Carey was cast because he is a brilliant physical comedian, and fearlessly commits to over the top, outrageous characters. Mike Myers fell back on his old bag of tricks.
Why, why, why Mike Myers?? The kids could care less, and the Austin Powers demographic isn't going to spy this film. So, what was the studio thinking?
The Cat was also apparently related to Linda Richmond. Can we talk? Why a New York Accent? Not entirely consistent with anything Dr. Seuss has ever written. Myers was even allowed to sneak in his Scottish shtick. I wonder how many different voices the director and the studio tried to edit out of before they just gave in and said "as long as you don't say fahklempt', you can keep the accents." Meyers never seemed to find any sort of comfort, either with the costume, make-up, or dialogue.
The jokes, what few there were, were crude and age inappropriate. When Myers picks up a garden hoe and delivers to the camera: "dirty ho", everything but the rim shot was missing, and even that wouldn't have helped.
The same folks who created 'Whoville', clearly had a hand in the creation of the town and the houses in 'Cat'. The sets and props were very appealing, giving the viewer a much needed distraction from the bad writing, direction, and Myers.
There was some fun to be had with Alec Baldwin and Kelly Preston. Dakota Fanning was the only actor who seemed to be aware she was in a movie based on a Dr. Seuss classic, and stayed true to the genre.
Call the SPCA. This Cat should be neutered and never be allowed to reproduce again. Please, please, no sequel.
I realize that young viewers don't understand the significance of Dr. Seuss, and the change his many children's books brought to the world of publishing.
This film is the antithesis of what he had in mind, and I am furious with his family for allowing this Hollywood monster to be unleashed.
PARENTS - don't let your kids think that this is what the Seuss universe is all about.....buy them the books, and skip these LAME films. Or, show them the "Horton Hears a Who" animated classic from the 70s.
Universal & Dreamworks, you have a really ANGRY viewer. Stop allowing inexperienced PRODUCTION DESIGNERS to direct your big-budget films. You could have had a classic on your hands, but instead you have the honor of having spent millions on one of IMDb's "Bottom 100 Films."
One of the worst films I have ever seen.
There is, however, a difference between smart humor and downright crude, vile humor. "The Cat in the Hat" falls in the latter category. This film is the most vicious sick form of kid's entertainment I've seen in years. I would have not watched if it weren't for the fact that it was playing at kid's pizza place that I was attending with a child at the time.
There are a number of scenes where the children just stare at the cat pulling off one crude gag after another. Bodily function humor abound, I'd have the same reaction. Then there are SO many other scenes that have coarse adult humor. No, it isn't sly innuendo, it's sick. The sad part is, it's not even funny. I watch a slew of animated films and if it's smart adult humor that goes over the head of the little ones, that's fine. But this is sick.
The plot is similar to the book. Seuss's words in the book are magical. The plot and message are simple. The kids fall prey to mischief - how do they clean up before mom gets home. How that gets screwed up is beyond me, but this film does it. Innocent mischief, this isn't.
While we're on the subject of inappropriate adult humor, let me point out that this film FEATURES PRODUCT PLACEMENT FOR AN ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE. Sickened yet? Try Mike Myer's insipid performance of the title character. This is vile and a miserable excuse for children's entertainment.
The movie plays itself out with joke-a-minute style. Unfortunately, none of the jokes are funny. Both the children's humor and the adult humor fails to please. Which brings up another point. Adult humor has no place in this movie. I have no problem with adult humor, but it shouldn't be in a Dr. Seuss movie. Not only was the adult humor unfunny, it did nothing more than cause confusion for the kids in the audience. Not to mention the explanations parents have to come up with when kids question the jokes.
Mike Myers is just bad in this movie. I had to go home and watch my collection of his movies and a few old Saturday Night Live episodes to reassure myself of his comedic ability. He completely failed to give the Cat a unique personality. If you're looking to see Myers perform half of his different SNL and movie characters in the period of an hour and a half, all while wearing a hideous cat suit, then watch this movie.
If you do get stuck seeing this atrocity, there are some redeeming points that will make it bearable for you. The sets are beautiful, almost a perfect rendition of what most people think a three-dimensional version of the Seuss universe would look like. Also, the performances of Dakota Fanning and Spencer Breslin are applaudable. Had they not been required to share the spotlight with that ungodly cat, the movie could've passed for good. Oh, and there's a scene where Myers is abused by a group of children, which provides some comic relief. Unfortunately, the Cat survives this incident to abuse the audience for another twenty minutes.
Avoid this movie if you can. Some parents will have to be dragged to it because their kids are more concerned with watching the Cat bounce around for 90 minutes than they are with seeing a good movie. Oh, to be young and naive again...
But all that aside, The Cat in the Hat is still a terrible movie. The casting and overall look of the movie are the only saving graces. The beautiful Kelly Preston and the always likeable (or hateable in this case) Alec Baldwin are both good in their roles even though Preston is almost too beautiful for a role like this. The kids are conditioned actors and it shows, especially with Dakota Fanning. Fanning is the only human aspect of the film that kept me watching and not throwing things at the screen.
Did I mention there was an oversized talking cat in this movie? Mike Myers is absolutely deplorable. I didn't like him as the voice of Shrek, and I truly believe now that Myers should not be allowed near the realm of children's films ever again. His portrayal of The Cat is a slightly toned down version of Fat Bastard and Austin Powers.
In the end, the cat should not have come, he should have stayed away, but he came, even if just for a day, he ruined 82 minutes of my life, 82 minutes of personal anger and strife.
The Cat in the Hat may be the worst kids movie ever.
You don't expect every kids' movie to be Toy Story or The Iron Giant, but this one set a new low. How could Mike Myers need the money?
Stale acting and poor jokes cannot be masked by an excellent, yet bewildering set design (that goes out of its way to market Volkswagon Beetles). I don't know what Michaels Myers was doing in this movie, but I have never seen anything more depressing. This was nothing more than a blatant effort to capitalize on the previous success of the Grinch (which has its opponents, but I enjoyed it very much). It's difficult not to sit through this failure and wonder what better projects were passed over to fund it.
You want a funny Seuss adaptation? Go with the Grinch.
But that excitement evaporated when to my utter amazement I heard these phrases spoken by the Cat:
"That chaps my a** <bleep>!"
"You dirty ho!"
Can you imagine? A Suess character, let alone the Cat, saying these things? These phrases were the first ones repeated by my children when my wife asked them how they liked the movie!
As for me, I thought the movie was boring and unfunny, especially Mike Meyers as the Cat. I found it too easy to imagine Meyers himself, or Austin Powers, wearing a Cat suit for a comedy skit.
I sat there with my three kids, We sat there for this movie. But the Cat started to swear, And then I felt kinda woozy.
Do not take your children to see this tripe. Take them to see 'Elf', a good movie of a better type.
Avoid this like a leprous prostitute.
This movie is obviously marketed toward children. As such, it should have humor appropriate for kids. This has some slapstick, but the BAs, swearing and semi-swearing, double etendres, and innuendo have no place in it. If my kids were street-wise prostitute punks, they would get the jokes. But my kids are good kids, and the humor went over their heads. However, if you want to take your kids to a movie where the main character actually talks about cutting off a cat's balls (yes, in that same language), then this is for you. If you want to see the Cat in the Hat have a pseudo erection at looking at a centerfold spread of the kids' mom, then this is for you.
Terrible dialog, terrible lead acting by Mike Myers, terrible script, EXTREMELY bland camera work (the whole thing could have been filmed on a tripod), color and scene design that was good in theory, but in practice just doesn't work... it just goes on and on.
It's just beyond me how something like this can get green-lit. I've watched straight-to-video Land Before Time movies with better pacing, acting, and humor.
And I only registered on IMDb for this review, to help draw down the absurd 3-star rating this film got to some lower number. Just doing my part for justice in this world.
Hedeen's outlook: 0/10 No Stars F
It is indeed your property to do with as you wish. I just wish you would listen to the advice of others for a little while. Save what is left of Dr. Seuss. Thank you.
It stunk at the beginning. It stunk at the end. It stunk in the middle - I'm warning you, friend. It stunk in the day and it stunk in the night. Any way you look at it this movie's not right.
Ignore the movie and read the book. Walk out of the theater, don't give it a look. Go straightaway home, as fast as you can, by car or by bus or by train or by van. Avoid this abomination or you will be sad. Enjoy the original and you will be glad.
The only thing wrong with this movie is it's marketing as a children's film. I do not think it is appropriate for younger children. I know many kids are subjected to similar material in every day life but there is no need to reinforce it and further legitimise it. However, I would imagine that many children would enjoy this, simply because of it's risque nature.
Beware that some of the outtakes and deleted scenes on the well produced DVD are even more extreme than those that made it into the feature!
This film does not deserve it's low rating - it is much better than that!