A tribe of cats called the Jellicles must decide yearly which one will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new Jellicle life.
It’s no secret that making a good adaptation is hard. Sure, studios depend on established properties both because of the low-creative cost and the guaranteed fan-base that will show up to see the film, but the standards are a lot harder to satisfy. You see with books and musicals, everyone will typically have their interpretation of the world they are immersing themselves into, but on film one is experiencing director’s (if not the studio’s) vision. This means that every adaptation is surely bound to turn some heads and anger some fans, making any criticism to be taken with a pinch of salt. However, Cats is the exception to this general rule, because put it simply: it’s pure garbage.
Cats is a drug-infused ‘furry’ orgy, except everyone participating is a famous Hollywood actor and Director Tom Hooper is recording it all on his iPhone because he thinks it’s the perfect follow-up to The King’s Speech. And that’s fine, I just wish they gave the audience some of what they were having – it would make having to sit through 110 minutes of garbage a lot easier.
Cats follows a group of street-cats called ‘Jellicle Cats’ all competing in the ‘Jellicle Ball’ where the winner will get a shot at a new life. As part of the competition, each cat pulls off their own performance about who they are and what they do and voilá; there you have your plot. The film obviously pushes the viewer to draw analogies between Cats and Humans in that we all come from different walks of life and should, therefore, celebrate our diversity. Unfortunately, such a message is largely overshadowed by the constant barrage of musical skits and tail-on-tail action, it literally became a choreography pornography. I don’t own a cat but I’m pretty sure I have never seen cats get so sensual and paws-on than they did in this movie.
The only saving grace of this movie is the cast, and when I mean saving grace is not walking out of the cinema and demand for my money back plus compensation for my waste of time. Cats is fundamentally dependent on its cast-members: Ian McKellan, Judy Dench, Jason Derulo, Taylor Swift, James Corden, and Rebel Wilson (to name a few). Swift fans will be disappointed that the star’s appearance in this film is heavily limited despite the film’s promotional campaign suggesting otherwise – making her performance less Lady Gaga in A Star is Bornand more Neymar Jr. in XXX: Return of Xander Cage. Ultimately, they were either paid a lot of money or were sold a different movie in the production stage, probably both seeing as James Corden hasn’t seen his own performance. Clearly they all must have forgotten the importance of maintaining a brand image.
However, to make things even worse, the studio’s ‘solution’ to saving Cats is by ‘improving its visual effects’ twice, the second time being while the movie is still in theatres, as if the biggest issue plaguing this movie was the ‘realism of the cats’ rather than the fact that the film was dead on arrival. Unsurprisingly Universal Pictures has subsequently decided to pull the movie from any Oscar awards to save itself the humiliation of not getting nominated any.
In an age where critics and audiences are divided on what films are good and which are trash, Cats has blessed us this holiday season in mending this divide by uniting both parties in their condemnation of this Oscar-bait abomination. If you haven’t seen Cats yet, don’t. But then again I’m a dog person, so I’m biased.
- Famous Actors
- Choreography Pornography
- Heavily Sexualized Cats
- Lack of any Coherence or Structure