Cats (2019) Movie Review

Director: Tom Hooper

Writer: Lee Hall, Tom Hooper (Screenplay) Andrew Lloyd Webber (Musical)

Starring: James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson, Francesca Hayward, Laurie Davidson, Ian McKellen, Ray Winstone

Plot: 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.

Tagline – The Must-See Musical Event 

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Cats starts when cat Victoria (Hayward) gets abandoned in the streets, when the other stray cats look to welcome her to their world, where they look to compete to enter a new Jellicle life, one that Mr Mistoffelees (Davidson) guides her through, meeting the different cats with different talents to win the attention, while the evil Macavity (Elba) lurks in the shadows, hoping to take this spot, by eliminating any competition.

Thoughts on Cats

Characters & Performances – Victoria is the latest cat to be thrown away by humans, she finds herself entering the Jellicles cat tribe on the streets, she must navigate this world learning the different talents of the other cats, she is the audience’s entrance into this world. This is one of the hardest films to judge performances, because there is so much terrible CGI around the acting, but when it comes to the singing, Francesca Hayward is one of the few stars in the film that manages to bring their a-game to the singing. Macavity is the evil cat that wants to take the spot in the new life, he will take any of the contenders to make sure he is the only one able to be selected using his magic to make them vanish. Grizabella is the outsider that was drawn by Macavity, only to find herself exiled to the outside world, alone, until Victoria offers her friendship. Deuteronomy is the cat the others must impress to get their chance to have a new life, the cats all respect her and she will find time for them. Jennifer Hudson gives us one of the only other good moments through the film with the Memory performance that could well have saved this movie from being completely awful.

StoryThe story here follows a young cat thrown out by their owner, who ends up trying to join a tribe of Jellicle cats looking to have a new life, where she must explore the world to learn what is wanted from the tribe. This is based on the musical that ran for decades and if the story is anything like the film, it does seem confusing because it does seem like a complete mess of a story. It is plenty of just introducing a character for a song and move on, while we do have an attempt of trying to get the message of letting people into life and accepting all, even if that does seem to get pushed away too often.

ThemesCats is a musical with only two songs that stand out, with the rest coming off like talking weird over singing, the special effects are dreadful for a movie with such a big budget, with nothing looking complete, and most looking completely creepy over convincing. The sets are just as confusing, with some being human size, while others are cat scale down size, just what happened.

Final Thoughts Cats, just what happened here?

One comment

  1. Look, I’d never seen any version of Cats before this one, and I found it surprisingly refreshing with such a totally different format. I agree it’s plotless, but I found myself thinking of it as a great big RSPCA ad where every cat sings in a wish for a new owner.

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