Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore
dir Brad Peyton
scr Ron J Friedman, Steve Bencich
prd Polly Cohen Johnsen, Andrew Lazar
with Chris O'Donnell, Jack McBrayer, Fred Armisen, Kiernan Shipka
voices James Marsden, Nick Nolte, Bette Midler, Christina Applegate, Katt Williams, Sean Hayes, Neil Patrick Harris, Roger Moore
release US 30.Jul.10, UK 4.Aug.10
10/US Warner 1h22
Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore
The end of the world? Diggs, Catherine and Butch

o'donnell marsden midler

See also:
Cats & Dogs (2001)

R E V I E W    B Y    R I C H    C L I N E
Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore Things have been ramped up considerably in the nine years since Cats & Dogs, and it's not good news. This film is more of a full-on spy spoof, but unlike the original it's too talky and chaotic to engage with either kids or adults.

Diggs (voiced by Marsden) is a brave but impulsive K-9 cop sacked from the San Francisco police force but recruited by the top-secret dog intelligence agency to work with veteran Butch (Nolte) to stop the menacing Kitty Galore (Midler) from taking over the world. But the cats aren't happy with Kitty's evil plan either, so feline spy Catherine (Applegate) teams up with the dogs. Yes, dogs and cats working together! Of course, Diggs' human partner (O'Donnell) and Kitty's magician owner (McBrayer) are oblivious.

The film kicks off with considerable promise as early scenes are packed with smart puns and witty sight gags. But once the plot cranks up, the incessant dialog gets increasingly irritating as it describes in aching detail everything that's going on. This completely sucks the energy out of the film; even though it's fast and frenetic, nothing much is actually happening on-screen. And when an action set piece does come along, the direction and editing are incoherent and uninspired.

There's also the problem that most of the cats are animated this time. The juxtaposition of real animals is part of what made the first film so charming, but this one feels more controlled from the beginning. It's also much more interested in spoofing other movies, from gadget-heavy Bond adventures (including Moore as the voice of the top cat) to the appearance of the previous film's villain Mr Tinkles (Hayes) in Hannibal Lecter mode.

Actually, the best bits are the random asides that seem to exist in the film's margins, including one scene in the catnip haze of an Oakland cat lady's house. On the other hand, the chatty sidekick pigeon (Williams) is just another annoying variation on Shrek's Donkey. But what really sinks the film is the fact that, while there are moments of inspired silliness, it's just not very much fun.

cert u themes, violence, some vulgarity 18.Jul.10

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