The Garfield Movie review: A kiddie flick designed to generate dividends

17 May,2024 05:44 PM IST |  Los Angeles  |  Johnson Thomas

The plot is a little far fetched, the story is weird - but since we’re dealing with cats it’s all kosher

The Garfield Movie review

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Film: The Garfield Movie
Cast (voice): Chris Pratt, Samuel L. Jackson, Harvey Guillen, Nicholas Hoult, Hannah Waddingham, Brett Goldstein, Bowen Yang, Ving Rhames
Director: Mark Dindal
Rating: 3/5
Runtime: 101 min.

Created by Jim Davies in 1976 for the comic called ‘Jon' in the little-known locally published Pendleton Times, the greedy orange cat with a heart of gold, way back in 2002, featured in 2570 newspapers worldwide with 263 million readers. So Garfield's popularity was never in question and the opportunity to translate that success into cinema was a lure that never really went away.

This second film to feature the orange cat Garfield, has the Monday-hating, lasagna-loving indoor cat have an unexpected reunion with his long lost father Vic (Samuel L. Jackson) - after which Garfield (Chris Pratt) who appears to have abandonment issues, and his canine friend Odie, are forced from their perfectly pampered life into joining Vic in a high-stakes heist.

This is a kind of origin story. We see baby Garfield being left behind by his father Vic and Jon (Nicholas Hoult) adopting him and later, adding Odie (Harvey Guillén) as the two members of his small family. Things come to a head when Garfield and his inseparable buddy Odie are kidnapped by crazy cat Jinx (Hannah Waddington) and her two mean service dogs Roland and Nolan. Vic's role in all that comes to the fore when Jinx puts forth her proposition.

The script gets a little wayward, but is funny enough and carries a simple message on family ties. The plot is a little far-fetched, the story is weird - but since we're dealing with cats it's all kosher. The film feels a little disjointed as the storyline goes to extreme lengths to justify some laughs. Garfield is a fun character, but here it's Odie makes more of an impression without even trying. He barely utters a word but as an audience we want him to have a say too.

The film may not be as good as the animated series "Garfield and Friends" but it manages to be likable nevertheless. The Voice cast is competent and the sound design, and editing are fairly proficient. John Debney's background score which also includes the Mission Impossible theme, provides quite an impetus for involvement. The animation is good - given to cartoon effects and the humor relies on cat jokes to get in the laughs. The drawing style is reminiscent of the comic strip. Slapstick humor is what counts here. In one highlight sequence we see Garfield watching ‘Catflix' while relaxing after a heavy meal and even at the end credits we see funny cat movies livening-up the humor quotient.

This is a fairly decent outing for the pasta-loving cat and is likely to keep the kids entertained.

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