Bickering With Brockett: “Cats” Spoiler-Free Review – What Did You Expect?

Eric takes a look at Cats, and asks if you know the play it’s based on.

I never thought I was going to be here. My friends and I were supposed to be seeing Knives Out, but my friends got sidetracked with, albeit, more important things and thought they could make a 35 to 40 minute drive in 20 minutes…needless to say, that did not happen. What happened instead was us seeing Cats. To be honest, I never expected to be a quasi-defender of the film. The trailer is nightmare fuel. However, the internet has gone in too hard on something that does not deserve the hate it is getting, especially from those who haven’t even seen the film.

I get it, I do, making fun of stuff online is a blast, but ignorance is not. If you haven’t even seen the film, do us- no, me, a favor; shut the hell up. You’re not adding anything to the conversation. You’re just adding fuel to the fire that is an echo chamber of undeserved hate for this movie. If you have seen the film and you didn’t like it, contribute away, you probably have some valid points, it just didn’t pull away from my experience.

I don’t really know what anyone was expecting either. Were you not familiar with Cats going in? It would make sense that you wouldn’t enjoy it then, because it’s not a good musical either. That’s the thing, this is an adaptation of an already bad piece of work. The play is weird, its plot is non-existent, they go out into the audience, there is like 1 good song…but the spectacle is entertaining. This movie is pure spectacle, because the play is pure spectacle. It’s a faithful adaption in that regard. That’s usually a huge point of contention for adaptations – they omit or change something and fans erupt. I still get mad that the sphinx wasn’t in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. There are whole memes about Michael Gambon yelling a line that is said quietly in the book. If you want to look at the ramifications of not doing something faithfully, look at the Star Wars fandom. Actually, don’t they don’t deserve attention.

Cats - Gus
Image via Universal

The biggest compliant is the CGI in this movie. Is it bad? OH YEAH. It’s terrible, there’s some nightmare fuel for sure. Their hands are just…odd. Their feet sometimes go through the floor. Some of the extras faces look like someone stapled a picture on a 3-D model. I’m not arguing that it was a poor choice. It probably would have been more cost effective to do practical effects anyway.

The plot introduces characters and then moves on to introduce another character. It’s a tad discombobulating and repetitive. They’re also introducing us to characters that are trying to compete for a shot at a better life while also fleshing out this weird world. Is it the best way they could have done that? Probably no, but that’s how the play does it.

Despite all of this, I really didn’t have a bad time. The characters were likable enough, I wanted to see what happened. It was engaging, the music never got to Russel Crowe level. I didn’t really have complaints outside of the CGI, because I knew that the plot was stupid. The whole idea of Cats is stupid. Making this movie in general was stupid, as it’s written as a play for a reason. When you go in knowing this is stupid and it lives up to the expectation that it is stupid…was that not meeting your expectations?

Again, this is not a good movie. It’s not a good play. It’s just nowhere near the worst movie of the year, decade, what have you. This isn’t the 9th ring of hell. This isn’t some Lovecraftian sign of the end times. It’s just a meh movie about a meh play.

This movie isn’t that bad, you’re just mean…and that’s coming from me…who shat on How to Train Your Dragon 3

Rating: Solid 3/10

Cats is currently playing in theaters.

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Cats Poster
Image via Universal
Written by Eric Brockett
(Eric is a millennial and thus thinks his opinion on the internet matters. Sometimes he has opinions on films too. He thinks people care. He knows they don’t.)

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