Cats & Dogs (2001)

“Cats & Dogs” centers on the high-tech, top secret war being waged in neighborhoods everywhere that humans aren’t even aware of: an eternal struggle between the two great armies of Cats and Dogs. The story follows Cat Mr. Tinkles’ plan to destroy a new vaccine that, if developed, would destroy all human allergies to Dogs, and the Dogs’ efforts to stop the Cats from executing their plan with the help of their new recruit, the heroic Beagle, Lou.

Jeff Goldblum (in a painfully referential role that older audiences will either love or despite) plays scientist and family man Professor Brody. He’s a man who has spent years trying to discover a cure for dog allergies from pet dander. His son Scott feels neglected often and is distant from his father. But his mother played by Elizabeth Perkins tried constantly to keep the link between them close. Lou voiced by Tobey Maguire is a great and fun superhero enhanced by effects and animation that helps inject the more fantastic elements. This is a better movie than I expected it to be.

I loved the special effects and how they meshed perfectly with the dogs’ faces. I found that the actors did well with the dogs and cats voices. Tobey Maguire ultimately is the best character in this entire film, proving his excellent acting even translates to a simple voice over. The funny thing is, the human actors and situations seem to take a backseat to the canines quest to stop Tinkles from achieving his goal. I found the plot to be very inventive and original, taking the classic feud of Cats and Dogs to a new height. The action is great, especially the part where Lou has to single-handedly take on three ninja cats. The problem with this film is the execution of the climax.

It’s anti-climatic and there could have been a lot more to it rather than the cop out. I know I’m expecting too much from a kids movie, but its true. I also felt that the movie didn’t put much emphasis on Butch the chief dogs past (played by Alec Baldwin). I would have liked to know more about the other dogs as well. This is a fun, action-packed movie for the kids with a few plot holes and terrible ending. I thought the entire movie makes a great comedy and action hybrid, fun for adults and children.