Thursday, January 16, 2020

Review: Dolittle

Release date: January 17, 2020
Running time: 106 minutes
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen 

Dolittle tells the tale of a brilliant, eccentric doctor who has the rare ability to talk to animals.  However, because of past events, he has since become a recluse, preferring the company of his animal companions to the human world.  Dolittle is less of an origin movie and more of a rebirth film.  The movie starts with an animated history of Dr. Dolittle and explains why he has shunned the human world.  Then it opens after the man has already become somewhat of a recluse.  But an unexpected visitor or two lead Dolittle and his animal companions on an epic journey. 

Dolittle is accompanied on his journey by his young apprentice Stubbins (Harry Collett) and an all-star cast of voice talent including John Cena, Emma Thompson, Rami Malek, Kumail Nanjiani, Octavia Spencer, and Tom Holland to name a few.  The sheer number of characters and the chaos that their animal actions cause is much funnier than I expected.  There are some silly moments for kids but also some genuinely funny moments for adults to enjoy.  

Dolittle's journey takes him to a couple of interesting places with their own animals and humans for the group to interact with.  However, the journey does feel drawn out.  The movie is an hour and forty five minutes, probably about the limit for a kids film, and it definitely feels like it.  You do visit some interesting places, but it feels like the movie lingers in those places for far too long.  It drags around the middle part and the end gets slightly ridiculous.  The ending does continue the theme of the film but the climactic encounter feels like its jumping the shark (unfortunately without a talking shark).  

Dolittle takes its all star cast and sends them on a journey with plenty of heart and funny animal and human moments. 

Rent It

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