“Cats” seemed to have it all: a stellar cast, memorable music from a Tony Award-winning Broadway show, and the attentive guidance of the famous director Tom Hooper.
Then the first trailer fell.
While Hooper had said he planned to abandon the iconic costumes for the Broadway show, few were prepared for the “digital fur technology” that appeared in the two-minute trailer or the almost two-hour movie.
“Oh my God, my eyes,” wrote Ty Burr, writer of the Boston Globe, in his review of the film.
“Have you heard of the effect of the” disturbing valley “?” He wrote. “The strangeness or repulsion you feel when looking at a humanoid figure that is not entirely human? The digital era has given us many examples of the strange valley, but” Cats “is the first film to be installed there completely.”
Currently, the film has a score of 17% “Rotten” on the review site Rotten Tomatoes in 101 reviews, from noon on Thursday.
Even if the visual design of the film was not the only thing, critics didn’t like it. The musical intrigue was always scarce, but the music and dance were fascinating enough to distract from the little thread that linked all the songs.
In the film, Hooper used Francesca Hayward, a Royal Ballet dancer, such as Victoria, a young cat who does a ballet-inspired solo dance during the show, as the main character. The public follows her through the streets of London, discovering the Jellicle cat tribe that lives on rooftops and alleys and the Jellicle Ball, an annual celebration for cats.
The film is based on “Cats,” a musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber (“The Phantom of the Opera”). The musical is based on T.S. Eliot “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” a book of poems about cats. The Webber musical made its debut in 1981 and won Tony for the best musical.
The cast that Hooper gathered for the 2019 reinvention is impressive. Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson, Judi Dench, James Corden, Ian McKellen, Idris Elba, Jason Derulo, and Jennifer Hudson are expected to perform alongside some of the best dancers in the world.
However, it seems that the power of the stars was not enough to attract critics.
“Assessing” cats “as good or bad feels like a completely wrong axis to see them,” wrote Alison Willmore del Vulture. “It is, with all my love, a monstrosity.”
Here is a look at what critics said about “Cats” before its opening on December 20:
Ty Burr, the Boston Globe
Burr wrote that the computer-generated stylized fur that Hooper and his team added to the actors and dancers in postproduction did not have “fantasy and wonder.”
“The faces seem to float strangely on top of the fake fur, without jelly on a single plane of vision,” he wrote. “Some cats wear clothes; some don’t; everyone is neutered.”
Also, the dance numbers, which made “Cats” a careless and hard-to-follow feeling, Burr noted, giving the film half of one in four stars.
“If the choreography were better, or if Hooper filmed it in a way that made any sense, the dance numbers in ‘Cats’ might serve as the film’s highlight. But he’s of the school that believes the camera should move as much as the talent, and there’s no pattern or inner logic to the bodies flying back and forth, some via unconvincing wire-work. Also: The bit with the synchronized tails is plain creepy.”
David Rooney, the Hollywood reporter
Despite the big names of Broadway and Billboard, the musical numbers of “cats” fell for some critics. David Rooney of the Hollywood Reporter said that Jennifer Hudson’s performance in the film leaves much to be desired, and she is the one who plays the greatest number of the musical.
“Jennifer Hudson tirelessly surpasses the role; she limps around the hemorrhagic mucus and looks miserable or terrified as if she were watching the newspapers, ”he writes. “It makes its way through” Memory “, releasing all its considerable pulmonary power for the change of key with big ass in the phrase” Touch me “.”
Rooney did not provide a rating scale in his review
″… if you recoiled back then at the sight of British acting royalty with their faces stuck onto little furry bodies, or even just the jarring image of cats with human breasts, chances are you’ll still be covering your eyes and peering in a profoundly disturbing state through the gaps between your fingers at the finished film. At least until boredom sets in.”