July 30, 2010 in Features

‘Cats & Dogs’ sequel lacks laughs

Roger Moore Orlando Sentinel
 

Yeah, that’s Shirley “Goldfinger” Bassey singing over the opening credits of “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore.”

Kids won’t get it, though parents may chortle at the reference to the James Bond pun of the film’s title.

That’s pretty much the high point of this sequel to 2001’s spy dogs vs. super-villain cats comedy.

The original was ahead of the curve in terms of muttering mutt movies. But this chatty 3-D spy spoof is as hard-pressed for laughs as Marmaduke, once you get past the novelty of “Hey, the dogs and cats are talking.”

An evil hairless cat, Kitty Galore (nicely snarled by Bette Midler) has plans to take down all of dogdom with a high-pitched broadcast that will drive every pooch on Earth nuts.

The canine spies, especially field agent Butch (Nick Nolte), are hot on her trail, pursuing a stool pigeon (Katt Williams) who may have some answers.

They need some help from a new recruit, a chronic screw-up of a police dog, Diggs (James Marsden). They may even need the help of … grrrrrrrrrr … a cat (Christina Applegate), one of the few non-evil ones.

Dogs and cats in jet packs and bat wings, riding motorcycles with fake humans on the handlebars, the odd gimmicky use of the 3-D, Kitty Galore’s inept magician owner – are all potential laughs that never quite land.

Putting an “America’s Funniest Home Videos”-style montage of real cat and dog antics over the closing credits only highlights how plastic the whole affair feels.


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