Cat in the Hat, The : Movie Review

Cat in the Hat, The (2003) - Movie PosterThis live action adaptation looks more like a remake of Home Alone than a Dr Seuss story. Having read a few Seuss stories and watched The Grinch I thought that I knew what to expect from this film. I was wrong.

Little of the actual Seussian rhyming has been incorporated. In fact it’s heard only in narrative form, in small excerpts, that bookend the action.

This is a genuine disappointment as the remainder of the script, severely lacking in invention, fails to impress. And the humour is often too adult considering the source material and PG rating. Even the songs, which are usually the showpieces of this sort of film, are instantly forgettable and poorly delivered.

None of the performances are impressive. Mike Myers has never been so annoying as he is here and he doesn’t even come close to generating the kind of zest that Jim Carrey brought to The Grinch.

Spencer Breslin and Dakota Fanning star as the two children. Neither shine, but both contribute more than the lifeless Kelly Preston.

Sean Hayes manages to inject some spark as the voice of the fish but this was never going to save a film with so many flaws. Especially when you’ve got the charmless and talentless Alec Baldwin in the mix, who manages to exceed all expectations by further worsening this already uninspiring film.

The story is not at all entertaining and unsurprisingly it’s also implausibly slight.

The set design, costumes and makeup are impressive in themselves but Myers appears to be unable to express himself adequately from beneath the makeup. And rather than make the Cat an original presence and his own, he shamefully resorts to using voices from his previous screen incarnations.

So what we end up with is a cast who fail to do themselves or Seuss justice, a fun story that’s been padded out to the point of impairment, a heavy handed message that’s at odds with Seuss’ subtlety and a severe lack of magic.

Bucket of cold water on standby. Let’s hope this cat doesn’t come back.

1 star out of 5 - Kevin Stanley supports the World Wildlife Fund - please click on the link to add your support

Author : Kevin Stanley