‘Dolittle’ is more of a disaster than ‘Cats,’ critics say

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Poster for “Dolittle.” Credit: Universal Pictures.

We review “Dolittle,” the latest adaptation of Hugh Lofting’s fairy tale, starring Robert Downey Jr.; “Bad Boys for Life,” with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence returning for the third time as the Miami detective duo; “A Fall From Grace,” a Tyler Perry thriller premiering on Netflix today. 

Our critics: Dave White, critic for The Wrap and co-host of Linoleum Knife; and Christy Lemire, writer for RogerEbert.com and co-host of Breakfast All Day.

“Dolittle”

Dave White: “Robert Downey Jr. is weirdly detached from everything around him. I think he just did all of his parts in a solitary room in front of a green screen and is not interacting with any other real human being in the film. That’s what it feels like.”

Christy Lemire: “Supposedly this thing cost $175 million to make. [There’s an] embarrassment of riches both behind and in front of the camera … besides Robert Downey Jr., who I don’t know why this is the thing he wants to use all his ‘Avengers’ clout for, you have Michael Sheen, you have Jim Broadbent. … And then behind the scenes doing the voices of the animals: Octavia Spencer, Emma Thompson, Rami Malek, Tom Holland, Marion Cotillard. What were they saying yes to?

… It’s baffling. I don’t know what I’ve seen. I’ve talked about this with a lot of people and I still don’t understand it.” 

“Bad Boys for Life” 

Christy Lemire: “The plot does not matter. It’s about getting these two guys together again and watching them bounce off of each other.” 

Dave White says it’s a good thing that Michael Bay isn’t directing this time. “This is the most coherently put together ‘Bad Boys’ movie of the three. This is more sort of pedestrian as a film. You know what every beat is going to be next. And you know that if they are in a car and they look in the rearview mirror, you’re not going to see the ocean and a boat following them, which is what would’ve happened in a Michael Bay movie."

“A Fall From Grace”

Christy Lemire: “This is actually very competently made, given that this is a Tyler Perry movie. It is slicker than you would expect, but it’s still nuts. It gets increasingly nuts. I don’t want to give anything away.” 

Credits

Guests:
Dave White - film critic for The Wrap and co-host of the podcast Linoleum Knife - @dlelandwhite, Christy Lemire - film critic and co-host of the podcast What the Flick?! and Breakfast all Day - @christylemire

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney, Michell Eloy, Amy Ta, Alexandra Sif Tryggvadottir, Rosalie Atkinson, Brian Hardzinski