Following the successful venture titled How the Grinch Stole Christmas, another Dr. Seuss book has come to life, this one being The Cat in the Hat. Unlike the previous film, this movie gives little, if any, reason to see it, pay to see it, or be paid to see it.
The Cat in the Hat massacres the book upon which it is based, to the point where Ted Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss), if he were still alive today, would gouge out his own eyes, cut off his ears and then lower himself slowly into a vat of fire. It's colorful, chaotic and worst of all, incredibly annoying, with much thanks going to the star of the show, Mike Meyers.
Meyers, who is usually funny in most things he is in, is absolutely dreadful here. Though he is surely under some direction of Bo Welch (who can share in the blame of this tragic film), Meyers is nauseating just to watch, as he prances around and does all kinds of idiotic stuff that didn't even make the little children in the audience laugh. Meyers, who spends the entire movie talking in some strange accents, does try to vary it up quite a bit with various accents that sound exactly like Fat Bastard and Dr. Evil. He is hardly ever funny, and the few times he is are purely by chance.
Though Meyers is essentially the film, what remains of the movie is equally sad. Welch is fairly aggressive in his set design, but there is more to a goofy movie than set design. Ron Howard, who directed Jim Carrey in The Grinch, managed to create an entertaining and dynamic world; Welch's version of Seuss is not nearly as creative. Most of the people in the movie serve as nothing more than background scenery; the world does not engage or entice the way Seuss's books do.
There are a couple funny parts in the movie, but they are scattered at best. Mrs. Kwan (Amy Hill), the narcoleptic babysitter, is humorous but not used to her full potential. The snippet of a Taiwanese filibuster is hilarious. That's about it. The children aren't funny, Alec Baldwin isn't funny, and Mike Meyers is definitely not funny.
The Cat in the Hat is a huge disappointment. With some crude jokes and a bunch of other dialogue that is supposed to be funny, the movie is not entertaining for children and definitely not for adults. By the end of the movie, I wanted to take that red-and-white hat and smother the cat with it.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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