Nine Lives review
In my previous review of The Secret Life of Pets, I mentioned that I had two dogs and a cat. Their companionship is something I always look forward to in the evening when their ready to plop themselves on my lap as I watch some Netflix. Whenever I watch something involving household pets (and most animals when their not villains), I suddenly get a feeling more for them then their human leads. In fact when I saw Krampus, I thought to myself that the monster could do anything they wanted to the adults and their children, but nothing better happen to the bulldog.
The reason I bring this up is that animals have an interesting place in movies. They may be around to build atmosphere and possibly serve the characters, but we have a lot of care for them. That has to do with the fact that animals don’t have a lot of the conditional emotions that humans have in their thinking. Because of that, we see them as more innocent and don’t want to see them get hut in a realistic context. This only breaks when the animal is suddenly given a voice and human personality. If you see Nine Lives, you’d wish that the cat in question would have gotten putted down.
Tom Brand (played by Kevin Spacy) is the president of a major corporation that lends it’s name on several products. He loves his title and even goes as far to skydiving to show that he can do anything. He devotes so much time to his job, he has little time for his adult son David (played by Robbie Amell), his wife Lara (played by Jennifer Garner) and young daughter Madison (played by Cheryl Hines). In fact, he’s disliked by most people, including company vice president Ian Cox (played by Mark Consuelos).
For his daughter’s birthday, Tom purchases an adult cat at an odd cat shop run by an eccentric Felix Perkins (played by Christopher Walkin). He takes a detour from home by going back to the office for news. A lighting strike causes a body swap, putting Tom into the cat, while his body ends up in a coma. He’s taken home by his wife and daughter while he takes in that he’s a cat. The only one who knows is Felix to later tells him he has one week to reconcile with his family or be a cat forever.
Where do I even begin with this…strange and awful movie. Nine Lives, as a story is every body swap story done before like 18 Again, Freaky Friday, and The Change Up. This adds nothing new to the idea and follows each cliché beat for beat. The joke’s never fire and neither do the emotional moments. This feels like a bad Disney movie from the 1970’s, back when they were desperate to try anything.
The acting, while not bad, is uninspired. With a lot of big name stars like Kevin Spacy, Jennifer Garner and Christopher Walken, this is proof that no matter who you put into movie roles, you still need a good writer to carry them through.
It’s shocking to see that Barry Sonnenfeld (the Men in Black series, The Addams Family series, etc…) directed Nine Lives. Though he might have done this for kids, the movie barely even looks like it had much of a budget. The film is full of shots that were obviously green-screened, visual effects that are obviously fake, and a tone that could really use some dark humor. This is seriously one of the worst family movies that I’ve seen.
I’ll give this zero cat litter boxes out of five. There is nothing to be proud about Nine Lives. Everyone involved with the making of this movie should be ashamed of themselves. This makes the live action Garfield look like an Oscar winner. Children deserve better then this. This cat needs to be put to sleep and never wake up.