And speaking of nullities, there’s this sad excuse of a rehash of Toy Story. I can see the pitch meeting now:
“It’s like Toy Story but with pets!”
“That’s a great idea! Everybody loves animals! Everbody loves Toy Story! We’ll mix the two!”
Speaking of weirdly positive critical results, the critics like this movie more than the audiences, who scored it a tepid 65% to critics’ 74%. The fix is in, people.
I was paying attention to the audience while this was running—because there wasn’t really anything else to entertain me—and I heard two laughs through the entire movie: The first from a woman in the row behind me. The second came from a woman in the row in front of me. I didn’t hear the kids laughing. Actually, it was quiet as a tomb throughout most of the film. Which seems appropriate.
The Barb didn’t laugh at all but when I asked her what she thought of the film, she said, “I loved it! It was above par!”
So I asked her, “Well, of all the movies we’ve seen, can you think of one that was just par? Or below par?”
So, y’know. All this time I’ve been saying “Well, the Barb liked it so…” when perhaps that wasn’t the best recommendation. Honestly, I’ve practically forgotten this film already. It looks pretty good, I suppose.
The story goes something like this: Max (Louis C.K. in his least memorable anything) is a dog who lives with a girl (Ellie Kemper, “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) in a standard, generic New York apartment (and, in fairness, this isn’t just some default; it does make sense for the movie to take place in NYC) when his girl brings home another dog, Duke (Eric Stonestreet, “Modern Family). Duke turns out to be a bit of a bully, and Max is miserable until he figures out he can frame Duke. This ultimately leads to the two of them being separated from their human and forced to wander the streets on the run from Animal Control. This takes them to an underground world of abandoned pets whose vicious leader is a bunny rabbit (Kevin Hart) with a taste for killing humans.
Meanwhile, back at the apartment, Max’s would be girlfriend, Gidget (abortion enthusiast Jenny Slate, The Obvious Child, My Blind Brother) organizes the hapless house pets (including Lake Bell as a fat cat, that the Barb was sure was Susie Essman from Bolt) on a journey to rescue Max and Duke, where they meet Albert Brooks, Steve Coogan, and my-god-aren’t-you-bored-with-the-stunt-casting-yet?
Needless to say, one of these animals is going to end up driving a car, because nothing is funnier than animals driving a car.
It’s a nullity. You may see this film. You might even chuckle once or twice, maybe. You won’t remember it after leaving the theater, though. It’ll be like a dream. A dream that really wasn’t very good or interesting, but you struggle to remember it, thinking there might be something there. But there isn’t. Just two hours lost to the void.
Alexandre Desplat’s music was probably good. I don’t remember it. I’ve noticed that music is being underplayed (as it were) more and more these days. There’s a great video on why Marvel music is so forgettable but it applies to just about everything made today.
From the people who inflicted Minions on you. Even begins with an unfunny Minions short. These people will go on to inflict Sing on us in the winter. So, Merry Christmas.