The fat, lazy, lasagna loving cat of Jim Davisí long running comic strip returns to theaters for a second semi-comedic romp in Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties. A sure sign of complete creative bankruptcy in any sequel, this time the action shifts overseas to England, where Garfield (voiced by Bill Murray) is given the opportunity to do the usual European vacation things, including a pit stop at Buckingham Palace where his dog pal Odie pees on the stoic royal guards.
Whatís Garfield doing in London? It doesnít matter, getting Garfield to that locale is just an excuse to plug in a long lost twin storyline, in which Jon Arbuckleís (Breckin Meyer) pet fat cat is mistaken for a royal fat cat named Prince (voiced by Tim Curry). The two end up switching places. Garfield lives the good life as ruler of his own castle complete with servants, while Prince has his first ever encounter with Lasagna and discovers that yes, it really is quite good.
A Tale of Two Kitties really suffers from the same problem as the first movie. Thereís still not much of a script. Itís low effort writing, cheap jokes, and poorly connected bits strung out for ninety minutes. Itís kind of a shame, because the casting is pretty genius. Breckin Meyer isnít much of a talent, but heís perfect as the blank, somewhat dimwitted Jon weíre all familiar with from the comic strip. And who better to play the voice of a lazy, slobbish, self-absorbed cat than Bill Murray? Theyíve even gotten Tim Curry on board for the sequel, you usually canít go wrong with him. But itís all wasted, as the jokes fall flat and listless. Director Tim Hill and his crew arenít even trying, not that thereís much in Joel Cohen and Alex Sokolowís script to try with.
If thereís one really bright spot in Garfield 2 itís Billy Connolly as the villainous Dargis. Heís not much of a cat lover, and in order to inherit his Auntís estate heíll have to kill Prince, who after the switcheroo is played by Garfield. Billyís worked for a long time as an unheralded character actor in all kinds of movies; everything from The Last Samurai to Muppet Treasure Island. Heís consistently genius, even here in this waste of space flick. His physically comedic performance in Garfield 2 is so good that it carries shades of John Cleese back in his heyday. Itís like a flashback to Cleese in Clockwise. Whenever Connollyís on screen hamming it up, A Tale of Two Kitties almost has something. Whenever he isnít, both kitties seem lost.
Reviewed By: Josh Tyler
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