Illustration for article titled Dolittle: Quick Review (Sort of)

Well here’s a topic we haven’t heard from in a while... what, 1998? Yes the Eddie Murphy one because it was a decent different adaption and eventually led to his slow decent into the mundane realities of PG and below. I do say 1998 because all the trash sequels after it don’t count. This newer film goes back to the original book series time period like the old 60's Dolittle film. Now the issue here is the difficulty of adapting such a large series of stories and finding the right one to try. Plus we have the conundrum of do we keep the material to the period or let it look old and try to inject modern day humor to make some scenarios seem off or out of place? Well the latter or course! This take is very much a fantasy/adventure film and kids under 13ish will enjoy it as will adults that just want to be entertained. Over analyzers like myself just have to suck it up and tighten up that suspension of disbelief belt and carry on into battle... for the kids! RDJ is perfect of course playing the good Doctor, he plays him like this weird amalgamation of Jack Sparrow and Sherlock Holmes, honestly I liked it. His sidekick kid in the film is a tad on the boring side but that was the point, he is the ‘straight man’ as chaos ensues around him, even the poor guys dialogue was a slog, actually a lot of the characters had some bad dialogue. All the animals voice actors were actually really good and kind of steal the show, the big two I would say are John Cena and Craig Robinson. Now this isn’t really a spoiler but when the movie opens up to give some back story with narration we are treated to an intriguing animation sequence that was beautifully done, I mean it was so good that I just wanted to whole movie to look like that instead of going live action with CGI, seriously if you see this you’ll see what I mean. Just look at the insane budget this film had, I’m afraid that they aren’t going to be able to rely on RDJ’s charm and star power alone here. That’s why I was thinking stick to the animation, would have saved you 100+ million dollars. Again, opening sequence straight up gorgeous. Another thing I noticed is the break neck speed at which the story is progressing, they are constantly jumping quickly to the next scene with context just being left behind in most cases. There is never any cool down period for some exposition to kind of explain a little more what the hell is going on. I mean we go from Dolittle being depressed and guilt stricken for years from a tragedy, random kid leaves home shows up with another kid who asks where are they, when already inside the compound which has a giant sign on the front that says Dolittle on it, he snaps out of it, hurt animal, oh snap the Queen needs me, haircut, oh hey random kid you’re with me now (kidnapping); BAM! Already at the palace... I mean this all happens in like 10 mins or so it’s crazy. A lot of jokes don’t land or weren’t very funny at least to me but the kids laughed at most of them and the Puns so that’s good. Our theater was pretty stoic but one lady near me laughed a lot, she was at times the only one sadly. Like I said before, just hard to adapt with so much source material. It’d be better off being a series on Hulu or Netflix honestly. The musical score is up beat and sort of cartoon like, I mean it is Danny Elfman he’s a pro at that. I can see this not going over well with Upper Class movie critics at big news sites or Rotten Tomatoes because it does have a lot of flaws and I could point out more but screw that, it was cheesy dumb fun. I’d classify it as more a ehhh wait till you can stream or Redbox it.


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