In DR. DOLITTLE 2, Eddie Murphy repeats his role as the sweet doctor who has
the gift of gab with animals. With female humans, especially his now
dating, 16-year-old daughter Charisse (Raven-Symone), Dr. Dolittle is
anything but the alpha male that he tries to get his animal friends to be.
A sometimes cute but too often flat tale, this sequel tries to get by with
easy to devise, recycled humor ranging from piles of pigeon poop to a large,
gaseous bear (voiced by Steve Zahn). Even the music choices lack
originality. How many movies have featured "I Will Survive" recently?
There are so many that I've lost count.
Sometimes redoing old themes can be funny. The best of these is a takeoff
on THE GODFATHER, in which a beaver offers the doctor some fish in return
for future services. When he refuses to accept the fish, Joey the Raccoon
(voiced by Michael Rapaport) warns him, "Hey, the beaver offers you fish.
You take the fish!"
Using the canonical kids' movie theme, the story features evil and
unscrupulous big businessmen -- Are there any other kind in kids' shows? --
who are out to despoil the environment. Specifically, these guys, played by
Jeffrey Jones and Kevin Pollak, work for a lumber company that is going to
cut down trees so that people can live in houses. Shocking.
Still, some of the animals are cute. Pepito (voiced by Jacob Vargas), for
example, is a chameleon with a "broken blender." No matter how hard he
tries to switch color schemes, he just stays an icky green. And some of the
scenes, like one involving a dog support group, in which the doctor has the
dogs repeat in unison, "I am somebody's best friend," will bring a smile to
your face. The result is an innocuous, but far from inspired film. Wait
for video when the rental price will better reflect the value of the
DR. DOLITTLE 2 runs 1:21. It is rated PG for language and crude humor and
would be acceptable for most kids.
My son Jeffrey, age 12, gave it ***, liking the animal humor and the funny
musical numbers. His cousins, Jacob, age 8, and Matthew, age 5, both gave
it *** as well. Jacob's favorite part was "the bear going to the bathroom,"
and Matthew liked the talking bear parts best. None of them laughed much
during the movie, but they smiled a lot.
Copyright © 2001 Steve Rhodes