CATS AND DOGS: THE REVENGE OF KITTY GALORE. Starring Alec Baldwin, Michael Clarke Duncan, Chris O'Donnell. Directed by Brad Peyton. Rated G. 85 minutes.
The first Cats and Dogs (2001) was an amusing variation on the talking animals’ movies – but this time they have used familiar espionage and action conventions and have provided some entertaining spoofs. With Mr Tinkles, voiced by Sean Hayes, the original was something of a sharp parody.
This one intends much the same. Not that the kiddies for whom the film is intended are going to get the wordplay on Pussy Galore (after all, the movie of Goldfinger was 47 years ago!) nor recognise the amusing style of these credits aping Maurice Binder’s credits for all those James Bond films. And, it would have to be a precocious infant movie buff who would enjoy the joke of Roger Moore playing a cat whose name is Lazenby.
Actually, the conspiracy theory behind the plot here is not particularly startling. The scorned Kitty Galore (voiced by an over-the-top Bette Midler) wants to control the world by making dogs go so berserk that they upset their owners who get rid of them and the cats take over and Kitty becomes a feline Blofeld.
Meantime, Diggs (voiced by James Marsden) is a police dog, heroic but lacking in judgment, prone to on the job disasters. Despite the pleas of his owner (Chris O’Donnell), Diggs is pensioned off but recruited by the international dog squad where dogs combat evil instead of being taken to the pound. This time, the boss, Butch (now voiced by a humorously gruff Nick Nolte), recruits Diggs to bring down Kitty Galore. There are dogs (Neil Patrick Harris), an ally cat (Christina Applegate) and a garrulous homing pigeon (Katt Williams) amongst the agents.
What follows is investigation, canine mayhem, feline malice, and ultimate success.
Diggs is reunited with his master, but is called again by Butch because Mr Tinkles, imitating Blofeld and laughing like Dr Evil, is offering a potential sequel.
Out September 16 2010.
Fr Peter Malone MSC is an associate of the Australian Catholic Office