Review by: Louisa Biswas | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Garfield Inside Look. Two Games:
Find Odie Maze Game / Mixing Moments; Audio commentary by Peter
Hewitt and John Davis. Deleted scenes reel; Featurette: Garfield
The Cat To Life; Multi-angle content: Grab A Number 2 Pencil (2
angles); Gone Nutty.
EVERYONE’S favourite feline claws its way from the comic
strip and comes to life on the big screen this Summer.
The long-running, popular cartoon, about the fat and lazy cat
named Garfield, has been rewritten for 90 minutes of cat calamity.
Based on characters created by Jim Davis, the film tells the
story of this supremely spoiled pet, who wants the affection of
everyone around him, but only on his own terms.
Garfield has a luxurious life - a comfortable chair in the front
of the television, his own bed and all the food he desires…
until the new arrival of a cuddly dog, called Odie.
His owner, Jon Arbuckle (Breckin Meyer), agrees to look after
the young dog to impress veterinarian Liz (Jennifer Love Hewitt),
who he has fancied since school.
Jealous at the attention Odie is receiving from Jon and others,
Garfield cruelly locks the dog out of the house in the middle
of the night.
After following a passing van, the ‘dumb dog’ is
lost and ends up falling into the hands of the local television
personality, Happy Chapman (Stephen Tobolowsky), who plots to
use an electrocuting collar to force Odie to perform acrobatic
tricks, which would help him break into national television.
Feeling guilty for Odie’s disappearance, Garfield tries
to rescue Odie from the evil Chapman, but to do this, the obese
cat must stock up on food before he starts his difficult mission.
Garfield: The Movie is a nostalgic
return to the past for older viewers, who grew up reading the
comic strips since 1978, or watching the cartoon in the 80s, and
an engaging introduction for youngster audiences, who are meeting
the fat feline for the first time.
The movie attempts to infuse a computer-generated Garfield (voiced
by Bill Murray) with live-actors, but, unfortunately, this idea
must have been hatched on a Monday, Garfield’s least-favourite
day of the week, as the makers have failed to match the same chemistry
as Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
Readers of the comic strip will notice that there are no similarities
with Jon’s house (which has turned into a cul-de-sac), Louis
(who was called Squeak) and Odie, Arlene and Nermal (who fail
to look like their drawn counterparts).
But the biggest disappointment for adults will be when the wit
and humour, best known in the comic strips, fails to materialise
in the movie.
Instead, the film’s comedy is not innuendo-laced, or clever,
like the Summer box office hit, Shrek
2, but rather straight-forward and easily caught by younger
children, aged between three and 12.
Although Murray is an ideal choice to provide the loveable voice
of Garfield, replacing the monotone voice of television’s
late Lorenzo Music, he cannot salvage the poor screenplay and
dialogue in the film.
Despite the predominantly poor humour for adults, Odie and Garfield’s
dance sequence is the only amusing part of the film, while cat
lovers will enjoy Garfield’s cunning capers, to always triumph
in obtaining food and outsmarting dogs.
Garfield: The Movie is a good film to take the children to see,
as they will undoubtedly find the movie like catnip - a purrfect
But adults will find it a real injustice to the comic strips;
or, in other words, a real cat-astrophe!