CATS & DOGS: THE REVENGE OF KITTY GALORE
I suspect also that if Cats & Dogs were made today, I would not have enjoyed it as much as I did then. Cats & Dogs came at a point when the live-action talking animals fantasy was relatively new and still a novelty. Unfortunately, what immediately came after was something that turned it into an irritatingly cutsie sub-genre dominated by talking animals quoting pop culture, spouting hip one-liners, numerous fart/poop jokes and an all-round level of wearisome inanity. In the period between Cats & Dogs and The Revenge of Kitty Galore, we have had to endure the generally excruciating likes of Garfield (2004), Racing Stripes (2005), Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007), Underdog (2007), Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008), G-Force (2009), Furry Vengeance (2010), Yogi Bear (2010), Hop (2011) and Zookeeper (2011), which have all but ground the initial novelty of Babe into something that anyone over the age of twelve grits their teeth through.
Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore certainly falls prey to all the things that have come to dominate the genre since the original. There are animals making numerous pop culture references to Dr Phil, Braveheart (1995), about getting free HBO, even an elaborate parody of The Silence of the Lambs (1991) featuring a return appearance from Mr Tinkles. The soundtrack is filled with quick shorthand use of popular songs most wincingly George Thorogoods Bad to the Bone. The animals are provided with hip one-liners the worst of these being a pigeon voiced with a streetwise Black accent. In fact, while the original film was balanced between animal and human scenes, this film has become almost entirely animal scenes. The humans feature only peripherally and in the case of the single one we engage with Chris ODonnell as Diggs human carer he seems so much an afterthought to the main action that he could have been written out with little difference. Everything also comes in this years rapidly becoming fatigued fad of 3D. This means numerous items and dog snouts being poked out of the screen and a series of vertiginous scenes where the animals engage in a high-speed chase through the skies and buildings on rocket backpacks. At least, unlike an annoying bunch of other films out there, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore is not in fake 3D that has been retrofitted after shooting and has been intended as a 3D vehicle from the outset.
On the whole, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore emerges not too badly. It lacks the freshness of the concept that the first film had but does a passable job of following on from this. There is a cute amusement to some of the gadgets notably a tank built out of a cat carry cage or a death trap that buries everybody in kitty litter. The complaint about newcomer Brad Peytons direction might be that he hurries each scene by too fast to drink in the parodistic background detail, particularly when we visit the canine and feline spy agency headquarters. Most of the voicing, apart from Katt Williams annoying attempts to sound like Chris Rock, are okay with the standout being Bette Midler as Kitty Galore. It has been some time since Midler has chewed scenery as entertainingly over-the-top as this and she steals the show whenever she is on screen.
Brad Peyton subsequently went onto direct Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012), the disaster movie San Andreas (2015), the possession film Incarnate (2016) and the upcoming videogame adaptation Rampage (2018).