19 December 2019 16:52
Sign up to FREE daily email alerts from mirror - daily news Subscribe Thank you for subscribing We have more newsletters Show me See our privacy notice Could not subscribe, try again later Invalid Email As one of the most loved musicals ever and with a superstar cast, it seemed impossible to believe that Cats wouldn't be an incredible film. The adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit musical stars Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, Jason derulo, James Corden, Idris Elba and Rebel Wilson. It tells the story of a tribe of cats who get together in a ruined theatre to see which cat will be chosen to ascend to the 'Heaviside Layer', i.e. heaven, and come back to a new life. Confused? You are definitely not alone.
Directed by Oscar-winner, Tom Hooper, who was also the man at the helm of Les Miserables, it seems Cats will not the award magnet his previous work has been. The critics' knives have been out for the big budget movie ever since the first, very different, trailer dropped. And now the film has hit cinema screens the verdict is in. The overwhelming reaction has been... Cats is the "best worst movie ever made". Performances, unsettling special effects and a plot that makes zero sense have all been raised as the film's worst points. It has just a 16 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes - but that's only half the story. Reviewers have been absolutely brutal with the Mirror's own film critic, Chris Hunneysett, awarding the movie just two starts out of five. He said: "I've no idea why they've squandered so much money on the 'digital fur technology', as it still looks as if the cast are leaping around in makeup and furry costumes. At least the set designers seemed to have fun. "Fans of musical theatre will possibly lap it up, though the kids in my preview screening were noticeably quiet throughout, and it left me feline embarrassed for all concerned." Here are the best (worst) of the rest The Beat Cats is the worst thing to happen to cats since dogs. Vanity Fair It's an ugly stray who smells bad and should not be invited into your home, certainly. And yet it is its own kind of living creature, worthy of at least some basic compassion. The Guardian As they gaze at the greenscreen and sashay and crawl, It's weird to behold them all gurning and acting, And why do so many resemble Darth Maul? New York Times A doctoral thesis could be written on how this misfire sputtered into existence, though there's nothing new about the movies' energetic embrace of bad taste. LA Times With its grotesque design choices and busy, metronomic editing, "Cats" is as uneasy on the eyes as a Hollywood spectacle can be, tumbling into an uncanny valley between mangy realism and dystopian artifice. Variety Tom Hooper's outlandishly tacky interpretation seems destined to become one of those once-in-a-blue-moon embarrassments that mars the resumers of great actors and trips up the careers of promising newcomers. Slash There is a thin line between idiocy and genius, and Cats pukes a hairball on it and rubs its ass all over it. Polygon Cats is a fever dream, a hallucination, an approximation of what would happen if your third eye actually opened and you could suddenly see into the astral plane. BBC Unless you're on strong mind-altering substances while you're watching the film, you will either be baffled or bored by this pseudo-religious nonsense. Personally, I can't help respecting how defiantly illogical it all is. There is something daring about a musical that purports to be family-friendly festive entertainment, but which is actually so alienating and out-there that it counts as an avant-garde experiment. (Image: Universal) Hollywood Reporter Let's not even get started on the tiny mice with human faces, or the dancing cockroaches. In addition to the generally off-putting appearance of the cats, the proportions are all wrong with respect to their surrounding environment. Sometimes they go from appearing minuscule to giant-size within the same scene. You will witness things no eyes should see and things nobody should be able to do, and you will be in awe. Gizmodo I have been processing this movie for the last 24 hours trying to understand anything as terrifying and visceral a trainwreck as Cats. Cats defies belief because it exists and yet at every turn, it is very obvious that Cats should not exist. Collider If you saw the first trailer for Cats, you've probably been bracing yourself for a cinematic disaster of epic proportions. That preparation will serve you well if you choose to see the finished film, a boondoggle of terrible source material mixed with direction so poor the Academy should repossess Tom Hooper's Best Director Oscar. Financial Times I'm almost dumbstruck. What a truly weird film director Tom Hooper has made from Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical. It's quite worryingly erotic.