'Nine Lives' - Movie review

Updated: Sep 13, 2016, 09:58 IST | Johnson Thomas |

Director Barry ('Addams Family', 'Men in Black') Sonnenfeld appears to have lost that rapier wit down the line and is now clutching at claws, so-to-speak. And it's not a very heartening sight

'Nine Lives'
U/A; Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Cast: Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Garner, Christopher Walken, Malina Weissman, Robbie Amell, Mark Consuelos, Cheryl Hines, Talitha Bateman, Teddy Sears
Rating: 

A not so invigorating attempt to eke out humor from a post death situation where a Workaholic Billionaire real estate tycoon, Tom Brand (Kevin Spacey) who is ever neglectful of his daughter and second wife (Jennifer Garner) - just after he purchases a pet cat as a gift for his daughter (Malina Weissman)'s birthday, meets with an accident and finds his consciousness transported into the feline's body.

Watch the trailer of 'Nine Lives'

Since Tom hates everything to do with cats, it's not quite a comfortable fit. But one good thing does come of it- he begins to see his family members in a new light. And just before the accident( or was it attempted murder?), Tom was all set to top the tallest sky-scraper project ever with his own attempt at Branding for posterity but his Board of directors were sidling up to the enemy and so it's left to his so-far-wimpy son David (Robbie Amell) from his previous marriage, to grab at the chance for vindication and redemption.

Five scriptwriters Matt Allen, Daniel Antoniazzi, Ben Shiffrin, Gwyn Lurie and Caleb Wilson have been credited for this hatchet job and what they say about too many cooks - holds true in this case. The body switch trick here is limited to being nothing more than a cliché. We've seen that trick done-to-death before and there's nothing new here to interest us either. As for the super busy businessman Dad, obsessed with his phallic memorial and has no time to spend with his family- it has contemporary resonance but the characterizations are strictly card board cut-out types.

Typically the younger second wife is having an affair on the side while the ex-wife (Cheryl Hines) keeps butting into the frame to make her depraved and lush presence felt. Add to this the mystery of a pet shop owner Felix Grant (Christopher Walken) who looks strangely other-worldly and plays no mean role in getting Tom to opt for a Tom cat as a possible gift.

Director Barry ('Addams Family', 'Men in Black') Sonnenfeld appears to have lost that rapier wit down the line and is now clutching at claws, so-to-speak. And it's not a very heartening sight. Not with two Oscar Winning actors Kevin Spacey and Christopher Walken looking desperately needy and so out-of-wit. The performances here are terribly limp and this despite the heavy-weight star cast.

The CGI is blotchy, visual effects are terribly unconvincing, the humor is potty and the gimmickry is knotty- so there's really very little relief for adults and maybe just a smidgen of pet antics that might interest children.

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