Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties

Cast:
Bill Murray as Voice of Garfield (voice)
Breckin Meyer as Jon Arbuckle
Jennifer Love Hewitt as Liz
Billy Connolly as Dargis
Bob Hoskins as Winston (voice)
Tim Curry as Prince (voice)
Ian Abercrombie as Smithee
Roger Rees as Mr. Hobbs
Lucy Davis as Abby
Oliver Muirhead as Mr. Greene
JB Blanc as Hotel Porter
Russell Milton as Bobby
Greg Ellis as Nigel (voice)
Jim Piddock as Bolero
Jane Carr as Mrs. Whitney
Richard E. Grant as Preston (voice)
Jane Horrocks as Meenie (voice)
Rhys Ifans as McBunny (voice)
Vinnie Jones as Rommel (voice)

Summary:
Despite a cool animated cat, “Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties” is just as bland as its predecessor.

Story:
When Liz goes to London for a conference, Jon decides to fly there as well and surprise her with an engagement ring. Little does he know that Garfield and Odie have tagged along in his luggage. Once there, the fat feline gets mistaken for a missing cat named “Prince”. Prince is the heir to an eccentric animal lover’s fortune and now owns a large castle and is pampered by a large staff of servants. It turns out that the woman’s nephew, Dargis, attempted to dispose of Prince to win the fortune. However, his plans fall apart when Garfield was mistaken for Prince and returned to the castle. After the accidental switching of identities, Prince finds himself dealing with Jon and Odie while Garfield finds himself in the lap of luxury. But what will happen to Garfield and the other animals when Dargis attempts to finish him off once and for all?

“Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties” is rated PG for some off-color elements.

What Worked:
If you liked the first “Garfield” movie, you’re probably going to like this sequel. It’s more of the same in a slightly different package.

One of the strongest points of the film is Garfield himself. His animation is very good and the voice of Bill Murray is perfectly suited to the personality of the character. Any time he’s on the screen, the movie is at its best. And like in the previous movie, he’s well paired with the cute live action Odie.

Besides our established heroes, a few additional characters have been added to the mix. Garfield’s look-alike, Prince, is well-voiced by Tim Curry. The pampered pet has some amusing moments as he discovers what the real world is like. Bob Hoskins is also funny as Winston, the bulldog assistant to Prince. His constant praise of Garfield/Prince is funny, even when he has a fart delivered to the face. (Yes, there are a lot of farting jokes in this movie.) Other notables in the voice cast include Rhys Ifans and Vinnie Jones.

I’ll also add that my kids enjoyed this “Garfield” sequel. While they did get quite antsy in the last third of the movie, it generally kept their attention quite well.

What Didn’t Work:
I already mentioned that this movie is very similar to its predecessor. Unfortunately, they repeated many of the same mistakes. Breckin Meyer is still incredibly wooden and boring. There’s no chemistry between him and Jennifer Love Hewitt. The film still doesn’t hearken back to the best of the Garfield comic strips from the early 80′s. And despite a few good jokes here and there, this sequel is just as bland as its predecessor. It’s just not as funny as it could have been.

Despite making many of the same mistakes, “Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties” manages to make a few new ones, too. First of all, it uses the tired old plot of “mistaken identity”. This story has been done so many times in so many different incarnations and it simply doesn’t work anymore. There are also a couple of poor musical numbers. One takes place while Garfield makes lasagna with other animals and another is done to “The Jeffersons” theme song.

I suspect most adults will find themselves bored midway through the film.

The Bottom Line:
Only see “Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties” if you saw and enjoyed the first “Garfield” movie. Everyone, except for children, will probably be bored.

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