Starring: Bill Murray (voice), Breckin Meyer, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Stephen Tobolowski
“It’s just a splattered bug on the windshield of my life”
A large orange ball of computer generated fur with a sarcastic sense of egotism, voiced by Bill Murray. Hardly the most promising prospect for a film, let alone when you figure in a few non-computer-graphic balls of fur and a weak storyline written for the easy amusement of small children. Shrek it is not, but Garfield as a film does have some strengths. Expecting to be disappointed / appalled / outraged is the way to go with this one, as then you might be pleasantly surprised at some points.
1. Garfield dancing and singing. On at least 4 occasions. For scenes that really should have been cut due to length. But I’m sure the youngsters will be amused.
2. The storyline. Cheese, cheese and cheese, with a little bit of smaltz thrown in for good measure.
3. The talking animals that aren’t CGI. Garfield I can cope with, but Nermal, Arlene, etc.. no, no, no. (This does not include Persnikitty purely because he is voiced by talented actor Alan Cumming).
4. The romance. Since when did Jon actually ever get a girl? The whole comic-strip dynamic of Jon and Garfield is their simultaneous singledom.
1. The character of Garfield; wonderfully designed both in dialogue and visuals. The fact that he is the spitting caricature of my own fat cat just gives it an extra humour level.
2. The bits taken straight out of the comic strip; the short punchy scenes at the start of the film that are the essence of Garfield distilled.
As a film of snippets of the comic strip, it would have been hilarious…though I was disappointed with the lack of Garfield hating spiders jokes. The problem came when they tried to add a Disney-esque storyline and bumped up the clichés.
Deeply amusing sections include the gangster mouse, the Garfield and Odie battle of wills and Garfield waking Jon up in traditional cat fashion right at the start.
Soul-destroying moment awards go to any with Happy Chapman (Tobolowsky) in and to the final scene in the train station, which I might add gives a quite disturbing and completely misleading impression of train systems and safety to young children, not to mention electric dog collars.
The lazy sarcastic fur-ball remains loveable despite the appalling ‘plot’, let alone the nonsense trailers that have populated our screens. However, I think the only real credit goes simply to Jim Davis (who has a cameo in the film) for creating him in the first place.
(Odie twirls round chasing his own tail repetitively)
Garfield: “I think I just may have the mental advantage on this guy”