I don’t recommend Nine Lives in the slightest, but it was worth putting it on just to see the reaction of Molly the cat. Molly was attracted by the sound of cat yowling, then more so by CGI cat bouncing around the screen. But even Molly had the good taste to decide the film was boring and formulaic, so she curled up and went to sleep.
This movie is another variant on a long series of family-friendly movies going back many decades, the sort of amiable nonsense we probably took our kids to a thousand times, most of which was instantly forgettable but probably kept the little ones entertained on a wet Tuesday afternoon. But here’s the thing: some are witty and keep the adults entertained as well as the kids, but this effort succeeds in missing both targets. Quite an achievement, huh?
Why is Nine Lives so awful, lambasted by every film reviewer going? All the cutesy stuff in the world can’t disguise the feeble storyline and dumb script. To start with, it’s built on the dumb notion of a corporate monster (“Firebrand”) being hijacked in the absence of its 51% shareholder Tom Brand (Kevin Spacey, of whom more anon), while he is in a coma and stuck in the body of a cat called Mr Fuzzypants. Yeah right.
You lost the kids at all the corporate shenanigans, quite apart from the nonsense about how he comes to inhabit the cat. Even if they snigger at the catty antics, they will be bored rigid by all the office politics and backstabbing, possibly even the idea of building a bigger tower block in Chicago – kids being more sensible than a team of scriptwriters, so it seems.
Yes there is an array of talent on show, including the mercurial Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Garner, director Barry Sonnenfeld and, presumably, a state of the art special effects crew, but perfunctory performances – though Malina Weissman (who was excellent in the recent TV series of An Unfortunate Series of Events) and to a lesser degree Christopher Walken can be excused.
But Spacey should have known better; he has no excuse whatever for dialling in a performance in exchange for a fat cheque – a lesson he should have learned from Horrible Bosses, to name but two. This is an actor capable of great things, and this project is not even fit to lick his boots.
There you have it. I could go on, but what’s the point? Don’t waste your hard-earned readies on this rubbish. If you want to see a Spacey movie, try The Usual Suspects or American Beauty or a dozen more.