Thursday, December 3, 2020
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GARFIELD

Starring: Breckin Meyer, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Stephen Tobolowsky
Director: Peter Hewitt
Rated: G

Garfield is a cult comic strip cat.

Having seen only a few strips, I had to review the film in itself and leave it to the aficionados to decide whether the movie was faithful to the comic.

What surprised me was how much geared to children’s enjoyment and expectations the action was, leaving the voice-over humour for the adults. There is plenty of slapstick pratfalling as Garfield tests out whether he has nine lives or not. He gets into all kinds of scrapes despite being a model of complacent sloth!

Audiences have been spoiled in recent years with a good selection of excellent cats on screen.

The very entertaining Cats and Dogs led the way. Nathan Lane’s voicing of Snowball in both Stuart Little films was very funny along with his low-life cat friends. Of course, Puss in Boots, voiced by Antonio Banderas like a fairytale Zorro, almost stole Shrek 2.

Well, Garfield is not bad but would be a runner-up in the Oscar for Best Cat.

Bill Murray is the voice of Garfield, using that familiar sardonic tone without the amusing nervous urgency that Nathan Lane could mix with his funny lines as Snowball.

Like Snowball, Garfield is rather large, overfed and expects the world, or at least his owner, to pamper him.

When a dog comes home and seems to be stealing affections, well …

Breckin Meyer is the owner and Jennifer Love Hewitt is the vet he is in love with.

Stephen Tobolowsky enjoys himself as a mean-spirited TV animal program host who abducts the new dog – who, despite himself, Garfield feels he has to rescue.

At 80 minutes or so, amusing but not a philosopher’s cartoon.

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