Thursday, April 18, 2024

Reviewers Get Catty, Claws Out, Give “Cats” Movie a Meager 16 Rating, But Fans Want to See It Anyway


“Cats” may prove to be a bigger test of critics vs. movie audience starting tonight.

The Tom Hooper directed movie has scored a lowly 16 on Rotten Tomatoes as critics have gotten catty about the translation of the hit Broadway show to the big screen.  There are few positive reviews, and even those are stingy. For the most part, every movie reviewer and blogger has hated this movie, especially the CGI. The main complaint is no script or story, which means they didn’t really get the stage show in the first place. “Cats” never had a plot.

Entertainment Weekly, for example: Even after 110 tumbling, tail-swishing, deeply psychedelic minutes, it’s hard to know if you ever really knew anything – except that C is for Cats, C is for Crazy, and C is probably the grade this cinematic lunacy deserves.”

But there may be hope: social media indicates a HUGE interest in this movie despite the critics. I’ve noted more social media action on “Cats” than on the new “Star Wars.” It’s quite possible “Cats” will catch on with the show’s fans, who will come out to see it just to defy the movie critics.

And the critics? A big chunk of the Rotten Tomatoes audience are bloggers with small followings. This is their time to shine. Who can be the most clever tearing apart “Cats”? My favorite quote is from Edward Douglas of The Beat: “Cats is the worst thing to happen to cats since dogs.”

Well, let’s see how it goes in previews tonight and in the real showings on Friday. “Cats” may claw its way to the top. But I still need to know what jellicle means, and where Grizabella goes in her chandelier topped hot air balloon. To Oz, perhaps?

If nothing else, check out “Cats” for Jennifer Hudson’s glorious performance of “Memory.” It’s spot on.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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