Nine Lives Review
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld.
So Men In Black director, Barry Sonnenfeld goes from aliens to cats and just like in MiB fashion, it's CGI rich. We follow Kevin Spacey who's the super wealthy, power-hungry business man who supposedly neglects his wife and daughter due to being completely company driven. It's a story not dissimilar from an Ebenezer Scrooge though he becomes trapped in a cat with voice over style of Look Who's Talking Now, and has to earn family favour by reestablishing relationships with his family.
There's little explanation of the curse, giving little detail away about the actual title of the movie, but seems insignificant by the time you figure it out and a lot of it doesn't really add up on the emotional level. Spacey, those cat narrative is incredibly poor, doesn't actually seem that too bad a guy and young supergirl Malina Weissman doesn't seem that neglected or annoyed with the arrangement.
It has a needless complicated family set-up which whilst it's not far from reality, it's possibly inappropriate for a family film. In fact there's quite a few tasteless acts in the film like attempting to taser a cat and binning the furry feline in a garage bin. We have Cheryl Hines (The Ugly Truth) playing his ex-wife who comes to the family home, in semi-amicable fashion to be company for younger model wife #2 Jennifer Garner.
Christopher Walken repeats his character from Click as Mr. Purrkins, the cat whisperer and gets to perform his trademark jig. (I'm sure it's a clause in his no-role-refusal policy that he must be allowed to dance, even for a little bit.)
The film loses its way very quickly and pounces from catdad trying to convince the family he's trapped in the cat, to Ian, who's trying to take advantage of the situation and steal the company from him, similar to Meet Joe Black. Ian, played by Mark Consuelos is reminiscent of characters frequently played by Dominic West or Jeremy Piven, that egotistical, arrogant and conniving back-stabber.
There's unfortunately quite a few negative points about this movie, some which would get overlooked by younger audiences but I'm an advocate for educating through film so accuracy is important, such as wrongful defibrillation and using a mobile whilst driving already dangerously (couldn't help but notice the Lexus product placing) is rather bad for a family film. Only nice thing I can say about this film was the score from brothers Evgueni and Sacha Galperine and even that isn't amazing.
I do believe Sonnenfeld and the writers forgot their main target audience, hearing a young girl in the cinema asking her mother what the Yellow Pages were and including subjects like divorce, corporate business and even a possible suicide is beyond family films. It's certainly aimed for cat people across the globe and even opens with a montage of viral cats videos, but it's one of Spacey's and Sonnefield's worse film to date, it's certainly far from purfect and lets just hope don't they make purquels of the other eight lives!
Running Time: 2
The Cast: 4
Job Description: 1
The Extra Bonus Point: -5 for inaccuracy and actual bad messaging.