out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
The Cat In The Hat
Review by Susan Granger
2½ stars out of 4
After the tremendous success of Jim Carrey's "The Grinch," I expected the
same kind of fanciful delight with Mike Myers as Dr. Seuss's six-foot-tall
talking feline. Unfortunately, it isn't there. Not that there aren't amusing
moments. There are. Just not as many as there should be. More than anything
else, it looks like the prototype for a theme-park ride at Universal Studios.
As the story begins, siblings Sally (Dakota Fanning) and Conrad (Spencer
Breslin) are bored, having been left at home with a sleeping baby-sitter while
their over-stressed single mom (Kelly Preston), a real estate agent, prepares a
company party for her germaphobic boss (Sean Hayes). Suddenly, the Cat in the
Hat appears with a "phunometer" to measure their "fun" quotient. Since Sally's
a control-freak and Conrad's a rule-breaker, The Cat transports them to a
fantastical world - where they meet Thing #1 and Thing #2 - and learn valuable
life-lessons, albeit while making the mother of all messes. The bad taste
subplot of their mother's smarmy suitor (Alec Baldwin) and the scene with
socialite Paris Hilton dancing at a rave should have been left in the litter
Problem is: production designer Bo Welch ("Edward Scissorhands,"
"Beetlejuice," "Men in Black") is a novice director. Working with designer Alex
McDowell and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, Welch's highly-stylized CGI
concept may be inventive and imaginative but his directing isn't. And Mike
Myers isn't charismatic enough to rise above the prosaic script by Alec Berg &
David Mandel & Jeff Schaffer that veers too far from the mischievous Seussian
spirit. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "The Cat in the Hat" prowls in
with a shtick-filled 6. It's may be a young children's film, but it's not a
family film - and there is a difference.
Copyright © 2003 Susan Granger
Buy movie posters!