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Cats & Dogs

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Cats & Dogs

Starring: Alec Baldwin, Michael Duncan
Director: Larry Guterman
Rated: PG
RunTime: 83 Minutes
Release Date: July 2001
Genres: Action, Comedy, Kids

Review by Susan Granger
2½ stars out of 4

Unbeknownst to us humans, a struggle for control of our planet has been waged between cats and dogs for centuries. And the balance of power is tipping. Professor Brody (Jeff Goldblum) is working on a medication for people who are allergic to dogs, causing an edgy, maniacal white Persian cat, Mr. Tinkles (Sean Hayes), and his reluctant henchcat Calico (Jon Lovitz) to declare war, targeting the Brody home, including Mrs. Brody (Elizabeth Perkins) and their 11 year-old son Scott (Alexander Pollock) as their newly adopted pocket beagle, Lou (Tobey Maguire), becomes pivotal in the canine counter-spy network. Working to prevent a cat-astrophe are Butch (Alec Baldwin), a jaded Anatolian shepherd; Ivy (Susan Sarandon), a wise Saluki hound; Peek (Joe Pantoliano), a small Chinese Crested who's a computer whiz; Sam (Michael Clarke Duncan), a bumbling Old English sheepdog; and Mastiff (Charlton Heston) in charge of Central Dog Command. Their adversaries include a secret agent known as The Russian, along with a team of Devon Rexes as Ninja cats, armed with knives and grenades, and 6700 "infected" mice. And it all leads up to a confrontation in Mr. Mason's Flocking Factory, filled with industrial-size tree-flockers, plus snowmen, Christmas trees.

Despite the ad copy, writers Glenn Ficarra & John Recqua don't allow you to "root for" pet rivals, since they stack the doggone deck against the sneaky felines. And director Lawrence Gutterman, working with renowned animal trainer Boone Narr, is far more concerned about seamlessly combining live-action with puppetry and CGI. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Cats & Dogs" is a purr-snickety 6. For a matinee, it's frisky, fanciful, furr-ocious family fun!

Copyright 2001 Susan Granger

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