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Review: Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties

The film plays it straight and boring, chasing its predecessor’s tail of mediocrity.

Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties
Photo: 20th Century Fox

“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt,” said Mark Twain. Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties removes such doubt in ripping Twain’s The Prince and Pauper and imaginging Garfield in its opening credit sequence as the antagonist in a number of fairy tales, making him responsible for Humpty Dumpty’s great fall and casting him as the wolf in the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Just as the film confuses the fairy tale with historical fiction, it also muddles the essence of Twain’s famous class-conscious novel. Like the execrable Garfield, Tail of Two Kitties is another sign of the times, turning the star of Davis’s one-note strip into a feisty action hero whose exploits support an elitist hegemony. This apparently means messing with black pop culture. In London, Garfield shakes his rump in an impersonation of Tina Turner in order to break a British royal guard’s stone-face. Later, one of the furry critters in the rich dominion he infiltrates remarks how Garfield “isn’t even the cat formerly known as Prince,” which, incidentally, is the same thing as saying “he’s not Prince.” The film’s jokes never stick and the story relishes in the thrill of movin’ on up, which is why Garfield tweaks The Jeffersons’s theme song after surveying the riches his new home has to offer. (A lasagna-making scene in the castle is set to a hippety-hopped version of the Pulp Fiction theme song.) The be-someone-else message of the film even extends to the strange dialogue. Garfield says at one point, “Man, I wish Jon was a queen.” But this lame-brained concoction, essentially a neutered version of Babe: Pig in the City for cowards who thought that film was too scary (read: too real), would never deliver on such a wish. The film plays it straight and boring, chasing its predecessor’s tail of mediocrity.

Cast: Breckin Meyer, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Billy Connolly, Bill Murray, Ian Abercrombie, Roger Rees, Lucy Davis Director: Tim Hill Screenwriter: Joel Cohen, Alec Sokolov Distributor: 20th Century Fox Running Time: 90 min Rating: PG Year: 2006 Buy: Video, Soundtrack

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