Cats (2019) – I watched it so you don’t have to

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Universal Pictures

Nick Jones

BY NICK JONES

To put it in the nicest way possible, Cats (2019) was an experience that I will never forget. From the scarily realistic CGI-fur to the awful puns and innuendos, Cats was an atrocity waiting to happen.

Originally based on a Broadway musical, Cats did not shy away from song and dance. 

The two protagonists, Francesca Hayward and Robert Fairchild do a great job of exemplifying the horrifying CGI.

Needless to say, it should have. Some of the songs, specifically “Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats,” the very first song in the film, was quite possibly the worst music I have ever listened to. The weirdly passionate dancing and slow music was the exact opposite of what you want as a first impression. I linked the soundtrack here so please, feel free to listen.

I would love to tell you that the music was the worst part of this movie, but if I did, I would be lying. With its success on Broadway, you’d expect the movie to have a good plot or some solid dialogue to enhance the story. Except Cats didn’t have either. Instead, the dialogue was mostly bad puns–cat got your tongue, don’t mess with the crazy cat lady–and the story was all over the place. 

The whole idea of the story was centered around a competition between five cats to see who would be granted another life by the wise Old Deuteronomy. Robbie Fairchild, the lead actor, explained the competition. He said, “the most deserving cat will be reborn into another life so they can be what they’ve always dreamed of being,” which is a fancy way of saying that the winner gets sent into the sun and now has only eight lives left.

Macavity, played by Idris Elba, looks onto the city to find his next cat victim.

One of the cats, whose name is Macavity, is mischievous and doesn’t like to play by the rules. So he uses magic, which only he has, and teleports the competitors to a ship on the other side of town where he chains them up until the competition is over.

Rebel Wilson’s character cannot hide her excitement after eating a cockroach with a human face on it.

For obvious reasons, Old Deuteronomy will not let Macavity win because he kidnapped the other contenders. So Macavity resorts to the only sensible option and kidnaps Old Deuteronomy. She then reappears at the stage where the competition was taking place with no explanation as to how she got there. All of the contestants returned from captivity with some help from the fat cat, played by Rebel Wilson.

It is then time for Old Deuteronomy to choose the winner of the annual resurrection pageant. As you probably expected, she chooses a homeless cat that wasn’t a part of the competition. This insane plot twist surprised all four people in the theater. And to cap it all off, the chosen cat is sent off in a hot air balloon while the other cats sing about how they aren’t dogs.

James Corden’s character dances in preparation for his impressive feast.

It is safe to say that this film did not go as planned for anyone involved. With a reported production budget of $95 million, the movie has a ways to go before breaking even, having made only $59.7 million. Evidently, there was a multitude of things that went wrong during this film. Some that I stated earlier, and some that I missed, such as the mice-human marching band, cockroach-human dance group, or James Corden’s character swallowing food whole. If you are interested in watching this film, you need to act fast, because, with the amount of money lost already, the produces are not going to be able to keep it in theaters for much longer.