There is something to be said about the theater. This avenue of artistic storytelling has produced some of the most interesting and unique stories the world has ever seen, deriving a plethora of fan bases who play their tracks everywhere. That field requires demanding performances with limited technology to bring worlds to life, requiring a little imagination to fill in the gaps. So for an era where imagination can be a struggle given the variety of media we have to do the lifting for us, and thus movies like this one I’m reviewing are there to give access to the majesty of the theater. Tonight, the legendary Cats is on the prowl, in hoping of raking in a few bucks despite the power house of Star Wars coming out. Will it be a dance to success, or is it going to be a dying cat only capable of crying out for a few scraps of attention. Robbie K here to give you some insight as I look at:
Movie: Cats (2019)
- The Setting
- The Design Of Each Cat (though odd)
- Some Of The Song And Dance Numbers
- The Pace
- Limited Story
- Some Song and Dance Numbers
- The Fake look sometimes
- Not utilizing the Cast Well
- Not Taking The Creative Liberties When They should have
- Just Limited Over All
As stated earlier, the theater is able to bring out some truly wonderous things with the limited technologies they have compared to CGI computer animation. The movies accomplished those limitations by helping turn the limited set into a magical paradise of alley cat wonder. Kitchens, alleys, bedroom, and more are all magnified to new proportions, giving us the perspective of the cat and adding sort of an obstacle to it as well. This new playground offers avenues for unique dancing, creative colors that blend well with the cats design, and keep to the realistic world the play painted so long ago. As for the cats themselves, the world of animal meeting human takes a new realistic sheen in the movements of tails, ears, and paint, really capitalizing on the mannerisms that the actors are asked to do. Those realistic movements, along with the fur that surrounds them really gives a sheen to the actors and helps keep up with the performances.
Speaking of performances, the true spectacle of the movie comes from the performance factors that the stage show is always known for. With the impressive visuals, the performances sort of explode on stage, new choreography mixing with old to unleash the true amazingness that the art of dance brings. Old styles like ballet, classical dance, and tap dancing will captivate the classic fans, while the new styles of hip hop, break dancing, and other styles add a modern pizazz to them. All the style mix well, and the giant dance number in the middle proves this the best, taking place just before my favorite number of the alley cat who tap dances. Those who are big on giant musicals, and like the modern retake on it are going to find this as the selling point for the movie, especially given the pace most of these numbers bring to the movie, which is another positive given some of the limitations.
Yet the movie’s theatrics can only carry it so far in the grand scheme of movie comparison for this reviewer. First off, the limited story. I know, it is Cats a play all about introductions that was derived from a poetry book. Despite this though, the movie could have expanded upon the story, taken some creative liberties, and helped diversify this film from the play and give it that movie spin, (potentially this was to appease fans). While not the movie’s fault, there are some numbers where the modern twist did not improve upon, and these numbers were a little boring for this reviewer, but again they at least keep these numbers in tune with the original so I can’t really dock too many points for this. Instead, a more valid point could be some of the details that they did not buff out in the transition from humans to cats. The CGI work is impressive, but I’ll admit that the faces for most of the cast still look a little fake. I would have liked some make up and prosthetics to help with the blending and correct this, for the stage make up I think still reigns supreme in this contest and should not have cost too much to add on in the grand scheme of the budget. As for the cast, there are a lot of stars that came to perform and to be honest… I don’t think they utilized them well at all. The film had only a handful of cats running the show from scene to scene, and all the big names had their numbers and dropped to the background. I know, again they are keeping in time with the play, but in the regards for the cast of this movie, the price tags that came should have been expanding upon and utilize these big stores to the max. That is where I believe the limitation of this movie really lies, not maximizing on the potential they could have taken to expand the story. While I appreciate loyalty to the fans, a film version of this could have taken some liberties to expand the story, integrate the characters more, and even add some new formulations to make this movie shine (like Disney has done with most of the live action remakes). Instead, the traditional approach has left this movie feeling very plain, one dimensional, and kind of boring in the grand scheme. Given the potential they had going, that might have been the biggest let down.
Cats is what you expect from the trailers, a big musical number that is all about dancing and soundtracks and little of anything else. The technology prowess reigns supreme in bringing the world and visuals to life, and many of the new twists to the songs give it a breath of fresh air to liven things up. Yet, this face paced dance flick just really does not deliver on many things outside of the lavish numbers. Rather than taking some liberties to expand the story and use of the characters, the movie sticks a little too close to the traditional roots, leaving it very simple and kind of dull in the grand scheme of things. If you are looking to experience the show for the first time, this could be a decent substitute, but for those in love of the plays or looking for a musical with more sustenance, heart, and coordination, well you should go in with lower expectations. As such, I’m mixed in terms of telling you if worth a theater visit, but for the stage show, effects, and visual numbers the theater will assist, but for everything else, watch this one at home instead. Due to the missed potential this movie could have done, I’ll give this film a:
My Scores are
Movie Overall: 4.0