Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Writers: Gwyn Lurie, Matt Allen
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Garner, Robbie Amell
As we open, Tom Brand (a rather lethargic Spacey) parachutes onto the top of his new building to hold a quick meeting. He is celebrating the construction of the tallest building in North America, only we quickly find out it won’t be. Anyway, Brand is a no nonsense, hard hitting business man and as you have already guessed, this affects his home life with his wife, and more importantly his daughter.
As a yearly tradition, Brand asks his daughter what she wants for her birthday, and as always she asks for a cat. After much berating and badgering he finally caves and ends up by a freak of fate at Felix Perkins’ (Walken) Purrfect Pet Store. Having bought a cat (Mr. Fuzzypants), Perkins is quick to offer some sagely advice which as you can also probably guess Brand is quick to ignore. Predictable accident awaiting, Brand is then transported into the body of Mr. Fuzzypants while his human body lies in a coma.
Mr. Fuzzypants then tries his hardest to let his family know that he is indeed the cat before turning to alcohol (a good scene). And so the fun begins. Only, Nine Lives actually isn’t that much fun to be honest. Whilst there are some funny dry lines voiced by Spacey, he really does seem to be collecting his pay cheque here. The rest of the cast are not much better and even Walken is not to his usual awesomeness. The special effects and CGI used for Mr. Fuzzypants are really not the best either.
There are also far too many fake cat noises littered (pun intended) throughout the film and they quickly become annoying, especially when not synced. There was a lot of discussion around the net when this was first announced regarding whether it was real, and personally I was excited to see it. Kevin Spacey as a cat, Christopher Walken…what could go wrong? Well, bad script, bad effects and predictability let the film down badly.
Ultimately Nine Lives has been done a hundred times before, and much better. It is the usual story of a man who has no time for his family and needs a (comical of sorts) disaster to understand his own selfishness and realise the consequences of his previous actions and what he has to lose in his life. Predictably below average stuff but young children should enjoy it.
The Sage’s Rating: