Dolittle Movie Review Rating: 3/5 Stars (Three stars)
Star Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Harry Collett, Michael Sheen, Jessie Buckley, Emma Thompson, Rami Malek, John Cena, Kumail Nanjiani, Octavia Spencer, Tom Holland, Craig Robinson, Selena Gomez, Antonio Banderas
Director: Stephen Gaghan
What’s Good: Robert Downey Jr – Iron Man, a very strong voice-cast
What’s Bad: A hurried hence the half-baked attempt at penning the story, gets way too predictable
Loo Break: Welcome to the jungle!
Watch or Not?: Only if you’re a fan of Dolittle or an admirer of Robert Downey Jr.
With a different version of Dr. John Dolittle (Robert Downey Jr.), we see him as an estranged husband living in the mansion gifted by the Queen of England. Dolittle, a veterinarian who can talk to the animals, has cut himself from the outer world living just with animals. He’s mourning over the death of his adventure-loving
He gets summoned by an unwell Queen of England to help her improve her health.
Dolittle leaves on a journey with his animal friends to an unknown island to grab a fruit from an undiscovered tree. In this journey, he faces Blair (Michael Sheen), who wants to kill the Queen for his own personal benefit. He faces him, his late wife’s father, a revenge-seeking Tiger and many more obstacles. It’s all about how he overcomes them and reach his destination to save the queen.
Dolittle Movie Review: Script Analysis
Thomas Shepherd’s story is a routine fantasy-drama. The one-line plot doesn’t evoke any excitement. It’s Stephen Gaghan’s direction and Guillermo Navarro’s camera that does all the magic. Dialogues are witty and deserve all the credit of maintaining the intrigue. I loved the way how the makers didn’t keep Downey just someone who can directly talk to the animals. It was very smart of making him speak their language proving the conversation between them.
The story fails to cover the adventurous angle, as well as both of the Jumanji reboots, did. The twists turned out to be predictable & there’s not anything that’s novel to the film. It’s definitely entertaining but when you’ve actors like these & scale like this, you tend to seek more than just entertainment. The VFX looks clean and for such beautiful locations, they don’t come across as artificial.
Dolittle Movie Review: Star Performance
The first thing which was weird about Robert Downey Jr. was his Welsh accent. He redubbed to get this tonality and it’s not as fabricated as it sounded in the trailer. He gets it right and with the time you’ll get comfortable with it. It’s a refreshing change to watch him out of the Iron Man suit. He gives an altogether different take to Dolittle’s character. He doesn’t follow a single trait from the previous Dolittle movies and carves out a niche for himself to set up a multi-million franchise opportunity.
Rami Malek’s Gorilla Chee-Chee gets the meatiest of the role of the animals. Emma Thompson as Polynesia the Macaw though is Dolittle’s advisor but hasn’t much to do. John Cena as Yoshi the bear get a couple of funny lines but nothing memorable. Kumail Nanjiani’s Ostrich gets a hilarious entrance and his dubbing might be the most appropriate of all. Tom Holland as Jib the Dog is just there for a couple of scenes and it’s nothing special.
Dolittle Movie Review: Direction, Music
Stephen Gaghan manages to take a portion of nostalgia and mix it with the formula that’s working today. It’s technically a rich film but the problem lies in the script. Stephen doesn’t cross any line despite having Robert Downey Jr on the board and that bothers at places. You can’t restrict someone like Downey in a character sketch that’s very limited.
Coming from the world of Men In Black, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, Alice In Wonderland, the veteran music master Dany Elfman has lived this world. He retains the zing and manages to amp up even some ordinary scenes with his thumping background score.
Dolittle Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, Dolittle is a popcorn entertainer and that’s about it. It holds your attention, takes you to the fantasy land, makes you laugh and delivers what it promises.
Dolittle releases on 17th January, 2020.
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