Interspecies Love on a Shag Rug
And I'm not talking about the dance either, if you know what I mean (and I think you do).
Now that we're done with the disappointing news, let's get down to what everyone already knew about this movie -- it, too, leaves one wanting for a shower. Nine relatively blissful years have passed since Cats & Dogs reaped a wholly undeserved $200 million box-office coup; presumably, the filmmakers reckoned that their previous target audience had -- how do you say -- matured since watching the first movie. Hence the fact that this movie's title and entire concept is built upon a lame Goldfinger reference. Now, while they figured the audience would get the "Pussy Galore" joke, they also decided to make this one a hairless pussy. Oh yes, they did. From there, the story aims (quite poorly, I might add) to spoof the 007 franchise but somehow forgets about that gimmick after the opening credit sequence, in which Dame Shirley Bassey sings a cover of Pink's "Get This Party Started" (and later, Sir Roger Moore voices feline spymaster Tab Lazenby). After dispensing with that little formality, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore transforms into a tale of anthropomorphic, fetish-bound hell.
The movie's kink factor is fairly obvious and immediately present in the filmmakers' San Franciscan location. In particular, humiliation junkies will thrill at the center-stage placement of ass-sniffing rituals, and bondage aficionados will titter throughout a tour of Alcatraz, where Hannibal Lector-esque kitty Mr. Tinkles (Sean Hayes) speaks of one last illicit meal that was consumed with some "Fancy Feast and a nice saucer of milk." For the rest of us, sensory deprivation shall be our bitch, thanks to 3D visuals that will discourage all use of those pesky glasses and the tendency to tune out a script full of inane dialogue that we've all heard before. Make no mistake, however, that the obligatory "Say hello to my lil' fren" has never been more inappropriate than its use in this context.
Meanwhile, there's the rise of the monstrosity known as "Kitty Galore" (voice of Bette Midler), a disfigured (thanks to a Joker-esque fall into a vat of hair-removal liquid) and hairless feline agent who's now gone rogue. And for reasons entirely unimportant for the purposes of this review, Miss Galore has vowed revenge upon all canines and humans. Of course, nothing really prevents her from pulling the trigger now, but she decides to wait two days (enough time for one last pizza delivery, perhaps?) before executing her plan. Inexplicably, the canines and felines have gotten the lowdown and also realize that the only chance to save the world depends upon an interspecies (waka waka) truce between anthropomorphic cats and dogs. Somehow, it seems oddly fitting that Neil Patrick Harris (an actor who gets more passes than a Monte Carlo male gigolo) runs this show as the voice of the Beagle-in-Charge. Under his guidance, a covert threesome -- a newly initiated DOGS recruit, Diggs (James Marsden), along with his mentor, (ahem) Butch (voiced by a presumably sober Nick Nolte), and MEOWS agent Catherine (Christina Applegate) -- do the dirty work with the aid of a pigeon named Seamus (Katt Williams, doing his best Wayans impersonation) and Sam the Sheepdog (Michael Clarke Duncan, basically a fluffer here). Finally, a drop of humanity comes from Chris O'Donnell (still suffering the Curse of the Batnipples) as Officer Shane, a classic man-in-uniform figure and one of the few human characters who actually has a name within this live-action/CGI madcap orgy. Shane only serves a few purposes: (1) As an illustration of how that humans notice about the
pervy true actions of animals; (2) As the guy who kickstarts "Bad to the Bone" by stepping out of his vehicle.
Oddly enough, the budget to produce Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore ran a cool $150 million, but the aftereffects are most decidedly of the gonzo variety. Mostly, you'll feel sweaty and pathetic without the desired release to induce sleep because, even though, technically speaking, there was a money shot, it involved a room almost entirely filled (top to bottom) with kitty litter. Other than that, you won't feel any sort of connection to the story or characters; and although you're pretty sure that there was a plot involved, it really doesn't matter what the details were because it was only a matter of in-and-out plus some grunting and drooling. After you awaken, cold and shivering and alone in the theater, you'll finally notice that a doorbell never rang and NPH wasn't dressed as a pizza delivery guy. Then, you'll forever be taunted by the evil laugh of Kitty Galore.
Agent Bedhead lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She and her little black heart can be found at agentbedhead.com.