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Cats & Dogs

Starring Jeff Goldblum, Elizabeth Perkins, Alexander Pollock and the voices of Tobey Maguire, Alec Baldwin, Sean Hayes, Susan Sarandon, Joe Pantoliano, Michael Clarke Duncan and Jon Lovitz
Screenplay by John Renqua & Glenn Ficarra
Directed by Lawrence Guterman

IN SHORT: Purr-fectly entertaining. (sorry). [Rated PG for animal action and humor. 83 minutes]

If you've seen the teevee commercials, you already know that this is a movie with talking cats and dogs. If you're grown up, you're probably thinking kidflick and shelving the film in the back of your brain if you don't have kids. That would be a mistake, we think. Wait until evening -- most of this week the teens will be suffering through Scary Movie 2 -- and do the adult thing. The written gags are so good you'll forget you're watching talking puppets within a minute or two. Seriously.

For thousands of years, since the long forgotten Days of Power in Ancient Egypt, they have waited. Planning. Plotting. Preparing. Purring and Preening and Pouncing on the occasional mouse to throw us humans off scent. Yes, the greatest Enemy this Planet has ever known is about to rear up their furry little bodies and make a grand attempt to make Earth their Battlefield and Mankind their obedient pets. The only thing in the way is an untrained and untested warrior puppy name Lou (Tobey Maguire). The world is, potentially, in deep puppy poop, ladies and gents. Not because Lou can't handle the job but because the maniacal leader of the ferocious feline opponents is an evil Persian named Mr. Tinkles (Sean Hayes).

This is the way the World ends. Not with a bang, but a tinkle. Hell, if you were named Mr. Tinkles, wouldn't you be carrying one helluva chip on your shoulder??? Thus, Project Dark Storm, which promises to "make the world quake at the name Tinkle!" quote unquote.

As dumb as it sounds, Cats & Dogs was actually quite funny. The flashpoint for the Ultimate Battle for the Affection of or Domination of Mankind is the work of one Professor Brody (Jeff Goldblum), who may be partial to dogs, even though he keeps a cat in the house with his wife Carolyn (Elizabeth Perkins) and son Scott (Alexander Pollock). Brody has got allergies so he locks himself in a hermetically sealed lab while he works on an anti-allergy shot. When he achieves his goal, Tinkles and his Mob (including his second in command "Calico," voiced by Jon Lovitz) kidnap the doc and his family, demanding the vaccine and all research materials as ransom.

That's as close as we can come to recalling the story. We were laughing too hard to take notes.

The dogs are more highly organized than the cat mob. Each of the special canine agents (their motto: "to fetch and protect") wears a high tech collar which keeps them in constant touch with their Control, a hairless pup named Peek (Joe Pantoliano). Lou wasn't supposed to be the new pup in the Brody household, but it kind of worked out that way, Ivy (Susan Sarandon) looks after him while Butch (Alec Baldwin) handles the doggie details of their end of the battle.

And we'd love to write a helluva lot more but we've got to track the kids down.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Cats & Dogs, he would have paid . . .

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See It. Then click here for Cranky Critic® StarTalk with Joe Pantoliano and Sean Hayes!

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The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.