Friday, July 30, 2010

Cats and Dogs - Revenge of Kitty Galore

Like the original Cats and Dogs, the fate of mankind rests in the paws of the animal kingdom in the sequel Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. However, the filmmakers seem compelled to up the story’s edginess by adding a heaping helping of adult content. The inclusion of drug use, allusions to a serial killer and the title (which plays on the name of the famous James Bond bombshell, Pussy Galore) made me wonder if double entendres were really necessary to keep audience members engaged. Since the depiction of an army tank labeled PU55 is unlikely to lure older viewers into a PG movie, why not leave the sexual innuendo out and let the four-legged spy story stand on its own?

To be honest, the hairless Kitty Galore (voice by Bette Midler) is anything but the sex symbol played by Honor Blackman in the 1964 Goldfinger. After Kitty has an unfortunate encounter with a vat of hair removal cream, she is rejected by her human family. Heartbroken, she vows to wreak revenge on all two-legged creatures.

Meanwhile, Diggs (voice by James Marsden) is an exuberant German Shepherd who works on the San Francisco police force with his human partner Shane (Chris O’Donnell). However his canine enthusiasm—and inability to follow orders—gets him in trouble once too often when he causes an explosion at a used car dealership during a hostage taking. Impounded in the police kennel, he faces a long stint of solitary confinement.

Luckily for him, his sentence is cut short when he is recruited by a secret society of dog agents devoted to keeping the planet safe. The organization is on the tail of Kitty and needs some extra teeth to bring down the criminal. But it doesn’t take Diggs and his partner Butch (Nick Nolte) long to realize they are going to need even more help to capture the rogue cat. Resigning themselves to the situation, they are partnered with the furry feline Catherine (voice of Christina Applegate) from MEOW and a pea-brained pigeon named Seamus (voice of Katt Williams).

Filled with typical cartoon-type violence, moments of peril and a scene of cats on a catnip-induced high, the script is only a mediocre rehashing of the original story. It does, however, offer some positive messages about cooperation and overcoming personal fears. Yet even with all the up-to-the-minute, canine-adapted spy gear, this tale of undercover espionage with its vague sexual comments will leave many parents wondering if children’s movies have finally gone to the dogs.

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