Only once in a generation does a movie fail so spectacularly, so utterly, on every level with audiences, critics, the studio and its own cast that we all get to point and laugh. Cats is this generations disaster. The Ishtar of our times.
The big screen adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber smash-hit musical features Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden, Idris Elba, self-naming chart-pest Jason Derulo and Rebel Wilson. With a cast like that you would expect some of the professionals to be able to rise above dross and drag this over the line. However not this time. It’s a dud. It is dead. It is deceased. It is an ex-movie. And the critics are not kind:
“Once seen, the only realistic way to fix Cats would be to spay it, or simply pretend it never happened. Because it’s an all-time disaster – a rare and star-spangled calamity which will leave jaws littered across floors and agents unemployed.” – The Telegraph
“In addition to the generally off-putting appearance of the cats, the proportions are all wrong with respect to their surrounding environment. Sometimes they go from appearing minuscule to giant-size within the same scene. And when Hamilton choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler assembles much of the large ensemble in the dance number that officially kicks off the Jellicle Ball, they just look like hairy naked humans wearing cat ears. In fact, that interlude made me think of a hirsute equivalent of the frantic volcano opener from Goddess, the Vegas revue in Showgirls.” – The Hollywood Reporter
“These are the Jellicle felines of legend, All elbows and shoulders and undulant arms. ‘Each male in the cast looks a bit of a bellend, And those bizarre whiskers don’t add to their charms.” – The Guardian
“History books of the future will tell of the twin disasters in December 2019. The first, the Labour Party’s results in a pivotal general election. The second, Cats.” – Prospect Magazine
“If you saw the first trailer for Cats, you’ve probably been bracing yourself for a cinematic disaster of epic proportions. That preparation will serve you well if you choose to see the finished film, a boondoggle of terrible source material mixed with direction so poor the Academy should repossess Tom Hooper’s Best Director Oscar. Watching Cats makes you feel like you’re slowly going insane.” – Collider
“There are moments when this film seems not so much an adaptation of a nonsense classic as a horror story, nearly as obscene as The Human Centipede.” – Evening Standard
“I have been processing this movie for the last 24 hours trying to understand anything as terrifying and visceral a trainwreck as Cats. You have to see Cats.” – Gizmodo
“Cats is the worst thing to happen to cats since dogs.” – The Beat
So it sounds like not even the the booze soaked wine-moms and gay bar singalong showings can save this. No The Greatest Showman style salvation and eventual domination for this movie. Instead it’s a sack, a brick and a nearby river for these kitties.
Ready for the punchline? It’s still not finished! The movie is still being worked on a day after its release.
With digital projectors everywhere these movies aren’t couriered out in cans containing reels anymore. They are downloaded from a server or delivered on hard drives. This is how filmmakers are still cutting a movie with just days to go before a release.
But after a release? Unheard of! Not anymore.
A leaked memo from the distributor, reported to Birth.Movies.Death writer Scott Wampler, told theaters they would receive a brand new version of the film within days, one that includes some improved visual effects. So it’s the first movie in history to receive a patch!
With a C+ rating on Cinemascore, a 2.7/10 on IMDB, a 34% on Metacritic and 19% on Rotten Tomatoes only a committed audience going against reviews can save it. Is that happening? No.
It had already been revised down from $15million on opening to a dismal $8million. On an $85m budget there is nothing left for us to say, except BOMBS AWAY!