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Entertainment

Feline loses her sarcasm in Origin Story

Chris Pratt voices the famous orange tabby in a generic, if pleasantly animated, story that misunderstands the characteristics that make Jim Davis’ Garfield a singularly appealing character.

The lasagna-obsessed feline with a near-pathological aversion to Mondays, who first appeared in popular consciousness in the late ’70s in comic book form, is a watered-down version of himself in “The Garfield Movie.” Not only is his suave apathy largely replaced by excessive excitement with only sporadic glimpses of his endearing negative qualities, but this Garfield jumps trains, stages a heist, and is subjected to banal physical comedy by way of numerous sequences of predictable action. The ordeal mimics a rehashed plot from the infamous “The Secret Life of Pets” franchise with Garfield force-plugged.

All of these choices constitute a production that fundamentally misunderstands Garfield’s appeal as an affectionately indifferent, self-centered glutton whose greatest aspiration is to do nothing and have his every need met. It’s a Garfield movie aimed at audiences who’ve never heard of Garfield, which reads like an attempt to erase history and reintroduce him in this high-octane, over-stimulated form for a generation with a short attention span. Set in the present, Garfield now orders food on delivery apps – and in a climatic sequence, it’s drones, not drivers, who help him save the day – which sets the stage for several cases of unabashedly ostentatious product placement from Walmart to Olive Garden. In another example of uninspired, pop culture-centric humor, Garfield’s favorite pastime is watching Catflix, a streaming site exclusively dedicated to online cat videos.

Such is the disinterest in reflecting the world of Garfield as it previously existed that even Garfield’s owner, Jon Arbuckle (voiced here by Nicholas Hoult), has been adulterated. Previous iterations often depicted Jon’s frustration with his pets’ antics, but Jon here lacks not only screen time, but also recognizable personality traits. At least Garfield’s faithful canine friend Odie remains mostly intact – Harvey Guillén, who voices animated dogs after Perrito in “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish”, is in charge of his sounds. The sunny tone of Pratt voicing the title role fails to capture Garfield’s sarcastic nonchalance. Its all-star cast, as was the case in last year’s “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” makes one long for Bill Murray’s version of the chubby cat in the early hybrid films, because even if those productions were far from to be convincing, they better captured its essence.

Designed to function as an origin story, “The Garfield Movie” introduces Vic (Samuel L. Jackson), the father who, in this interpretation of his story, abandoned Garfield when he was a kitten. The burly cat, who does not exist in this form in other “Garfield” media, reappears in his life when a cookie-cutter villain, Jinx (Hannah Waddingham) and her equally unoriginal dog sidekicks constrain him to steal over 1000 gallons of milk. of a dairy farm/theme park.

The request serves as retribution for Jinx’s time in the pound after a botched robbery with Vic. The screenwriters (Paul A. Kaplan, Mark Torgove and David Reynolds) further weigh down the story by devoting several scenes and even flashbacks (done in an interesting 2D illustration style) to secondary characters who seem superimposed to elicit emotional resonance. The main culprit is Otto (Ving Rhames), a self-possessed bull, banished from the farm and unable to see his beloved cow girlfriend.

In defense of director Mark Dindal, who directed Disney’s “The Emperor’s New Groove” and “Chicken Little,” and his animation team, this Garfield’s cartoonish facial expressions and realistic fur strike an aesthetic middle ground between his hand-drawn version and those made in CGI for the big screen adventures and later for a late 2000-2010 television program “The Garfield Show”. The graphic appearance of “The Garfield Movie” is reminiscent of how the now-defunct BlueSky studio approached its adaptation of the “Peanuts” characters. Caught up in the incessant hustle and bustle that consumes most of the running time, one could easily forget that the opening sequence, which benefits from limited lines, where an adorable, wide-eyed baby, Garfield, meets John for the first time , is an engaging starting point. If only the creators had stuck to the everyday tribulations that suit Garfield best rather than opting for high-stakes stunts that betray him. The result is more of a generic product in search of fleeting mass appeal than a work invested in Garfield as a single character.

The longer this grandiose feat goes on, the more hearts grow for the late ’80s and early ’90s animated series “Garfield & Friends,” the most accomplished audiovisual adaptation of Jim Davis’ creation. The fact that a woman sitting next to this writer spent the entire film scrolling on her cell phone while her children half-watched it confirms that many American animated features aimed at young audiences have been completely devalued so much. by the studios and by the public, condemned to exist as a noisy background. sound desperate to win the battle for attention against ubiquitous handheld devices, even in a theater. “The Garfield Movie” is a dark reminder that the future of most children’s entertainment made in this country is to become colorful advertisements. It’s also a terrible movie Monday for the orange tabby cat whose legendary laziness for nearly 50 years has certainly been better for him.

Gn entert
News Source : variety.com

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