Do you know who I blame for Cats? All of you. All of you who came out of Les Miserables thinking “that wasn’t bad”. All of you who applauded Ann Hathaway’s Oscar win for being snotty while singing a song that made Susan Boyle famous. All of you who proclaimed that Russell Crowe wasn’t as bad as you’d thought. All of you who thought Amanda Seyfried was anything other then screechy. All of you who thought Tom Hooper’s decision to stick a camera really close in his actor’s face was anything but him showing off. You made his already ego trip of a movie seem justified. Les Miserables wasn’t a good representation of a musical. It was just one long film where Tom Hooper was showing off. But it fucking worked. And now he’s made this abomination and its all your fault. I knew this would happen. Okay, I didn’t know exactly this would happen but I knew we were playing a dangerous game. If you’ve seen Cats and you regret it, just remember, the few of us who didn’t like Les Mis tried to warn you.
There’s a scene in Team America: World Police where Chris tells Gary about the childhood trauma that has caused him to hate all actors. In it, he utters the immortal line “I was raped by Mr. Mistoffelees”. It’s a line that I’ve had going through my head a lot recently.
I really haven’t wanted to write this review because it seems like such a waste of my time. Everyone knows what a fucking nightmare this film is. Those who haven’t seen it can’t understand what we’ve all gone through. Rebel Wilson playing a CGI human-cat, eating CGI human-cockroaches and unzipping her fur to reveal an outfit change. Not even y worst nightmares have been that horrifying. It’s genuinely frightening that somebody thought this would appeal to anyone. Everything about this film has been off. Yes, there is an all-star cast but this isn’t a film that needed actors who could sing. It needed singers who could act. Hollywood needs to stop being such dicks about this and just hire proper musical theatre performers. Otherwise, you end up with Ray Winstone as a CGI man-cat.
To be fair to Tom Hooper, and he really doesn’t deserve it, this was always going to be a nightmare. Firstly, why adapt a musical like Cats anyway? It’s such an insane thing to even try to fathom. Secondly, why do it in anything other than animation? I know Disney is really pushing the live-action thing these days but anyone who thought this is a musical that needed to look even vaguely realistic should never be allowed to make films again. I’m not saying that an animated version of this would have been miles better but at least it would have featured fucking cats.
Do you know why Andy Serkis and co. managed to make such convincing apes in Planet of the Apes? Because humans and apes are closely linked. They move in similar ways. Yes, it’s never going to be wholly accurate but it was always going to be easier than trying to move like a fucking cat. Yet, the film tries to find a weird balance between the human/cat thing. You see them walking on two legs like humans but then prancing on all fours. Neither movement feels natural on its own terms but combined with the other it’s just distracting. If it hadn’t been for Ian McKellen letting his inner cat out I would have been out. The star I gave this film, that’s for you Sir Ian. Maybe give a tiny bit to Judi Dench but only cause I love her.
I don’t know what Hooper was thinking with this film. He somehow managed to take a performer like Jennifer Hudson and make her seem bad. Just like the time he miscast Hugh Jackman in Les Miserables and made him seem bad. Hooper has no idea what he’s doing with musicals. The direction here is awful, the design is abysmal, and the singing is proper dodgy. I mean you know it’s bad when Taylor Swift singing in a terrible British accent is one of the standouts of the whole film. It shows you how disconnected you are to everything. You don’t give a shit about any of these characters or what they’re going through. You just want to get away from them.
We all knew that Cats was going to be bad when we saw the trailer but the question was always going to be, how bad? Turns out very. Not only does this film prove that James Corden doesn’t give a shit about what he agrees to but it also proves I was right about Les Mis. I hope you’re all proud of yourselves.