Saturday, June 30, 2012

Garfield (Peter Hewitt, 2004) Review

You know the drill, successful cartoon/comic/book = film adaptation. In most cases it usually exceeds the source material. Not this time. Now, I like Garfield whether it's the cartoon or the comics so, naturally, I was excited for this film. It had a CGI Garfield in a live action world. It looked ultimately was not. It could have worked well but you can tell it didn't. Why? Let's find out.

As you may know, Garfield (Bill Murray) is a fat, lazy house cat who lives with his owner Jon (Breckin Meyer). When Jon decides to adopt a new pet, Odie, Garfield is less than excited. After lots of abuse from Garfield, Odie is entered in a dog show accidentally. His performance gains the attention of a TV personality, Happy Chapman (Stephen Tobolowsky), who is looking for an animal he can use for publicity. After Garfield locks Odie out of the house, Odie runs away, leaving him open to Chapman's clutches. Now it's up to Garfield to get Odie back.

Yeah, this film kind of sucks. There, I said it. It had promise but couldn't deliver. I may have to start with a good point though and that would be Bill Murray's performance. He actually isn't that bad as Garfield and I couldn't really think of anyone else that would fit the role. It's funny that Bill Murray played Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters and the voice of Venkman in the cartoon is Lorenzo Music, the original voice actor for Garfield. It goes round and around and around! Breckin Meyer wasn't bad as Jon either but there were probably people that were more sutable to the role.

Now what DIDN'T I like about this film. Oh boy where to start. Well for starters Odie isn't CGI. It wouldn't be such a problem but it just doesn't seem like Odie. If Garfield can be CGI then why not Odie. Hell, why aren't Nermal or Arlene CGI? They look or act nothing like they should. Happy Chapman is an adequate villain. Sure he has a scheme but he was clearly conducted for the kids. I don't care and neither should you. Liz (Jennifer Love-Hewitt) is okay. Just...okay. She isn't entierly in character but is more so than Nermal or Arlene. Also, where's Lyman? It shows Odie's introduction so Lyman should be there least Pooky is there...briefly.

The jokes were clearly written with only kids in mind and, while some are quite funny, generally leave a silent atmosphere were there should be laughing but, alas, there is not. Bill Murray saves this film from being a complete disaster but that cannot excuse the poor writing, crap new characters and ruined old characters. Just as well they didn't make a sequel or else that would have...what?...there IS a sequel? Is it too late to kill myself?

Just under average. If it weren't for Bill Murray, this would have been terrible.

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