Thursday, February 22, 2024

UPDATE “Dolittle” — $175 Million — Lower than “Cats” with a ’13’: Robert Downey Jr.’s Rare Non-Avengers Movie in Last Decade Drubbed by Critics


THURSDAY MORNING: “Dolittle” now has a 13 on Rotten Tomatoes. Compare that to a 20 for “Cats.” Yikes!

WEDNESDAY Someone call a vet! Universal Pictures and animals simply don’t mix. The studio that just gave us the much derided bomb, “Cats,” is about to die another day with “Dolittle.” The movie cost $175 million and may not make $20 million this weekend!

The remake of “Dr. Dolittle” stars Robert Downey, Jr in one of his rare non-“Avengers” movie in a decade. The former Oscar nominee for “Chaplin” should be making great serious films now, not this fluff. (He’s capable of winning an Oscar with the right material.)

A load of celebrities including his “Spider Man” protege Tom Holland voice various animals in the new movie. But it doesn’t help. Every review is a pan, or worse. So far the movie has a 17 on Rotten Tomatoes, and it’s sinking.

One problem is that Downey for some reason speaks in a Welsh accent, something approaching it. Reviews note that the film had to be re-recorded to fix his accent, and that the result is a mouth moving out of sync.

“Superficial charm can’t save a film with poor characterization as well as a bizarre and ultimately disappointing lead performance,” reads one blog called Culture Vulture.
Slant: #Dolittle‘s inability to completely develop any of its characters reduces the film to all pomp and no circumstance.” 
Another blogger: “Just when I thought Dolittle couldn’t get any less funny or idiotic, Robert Downey Jr. sticks his arms up a dragon’s a—–e. And I do mean that literally.”
Universal can still hold its head high. Sam Mendes’ “1917” may win the Oscar for Best Picture. You have good days and bad.
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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