Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties (2006)

Genres - Children's/Family, Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Animal Picture, Family-Oriented Adventure, Family-Oriented Comedy  |   Release Date - Jun 16, 2006 (USA)  |   Run Time - 80 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom, United States  |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Derek Armstrong

You can usually rely on Bill Murray to be the best part of any movie he's in. The Garfield movies are just the opposite. The original Garfield, and now Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties, would just be bland family movies if not for Murray's obnoxious vocal portrayal of the lasagna-loving feline. Murray's tired riffing leaves a viewer longing for Lorenzo Music's wry and disinterested Garfield, as seen in the TV incarnation of the tubby tabby. Instead of Murray, the actual best parts of the weak Garfield: The Movie were Breckin Meyer and Jennifer Love Hewitt, who at least brought a sporting level of commitment to their roles as Jon Arbuckle and Jon's love interest, Liz. Here, those characters are pushed to the sidelines in favor of a mistaken-identity farce, in which Garfield switches roles with a regal British cat named Prince, who's inherited a palatial estate from his eccentric owner. Much of the action involves the estate's next human heir, Lord Dargis (Billy Connolly, looking and acting like John Cleese more than ever). He's trying to dispose of Prince in order to turn the property into high rises, as its many four-legged residents conspire to make sure that doesn't happen. The lazy plot unfolds in all the expected ways, with plenty of pratfalls and comeuppance in store for Lord Dargis. It's nice to hear the distinctive vocal work of a dozen familiar British actors coming from this menagerie of dogs, ferrets, and other animals, among them Rhys Ifans, Vinnie Jones, Bob Hoskins, Jane Leeves, and Tim Curry. But it's nothing we haven't seen in a hundred other talking-animal movies -- films that were encouraged to start existing again by the long-ago success of Babe. One hopes A Tail of Two Kitties will discourage more Garfield movies from existing.