Anthony's Film Review

Cats and Dogs (2001)

Here is a movie that is just simply fun for the whole family...

The movie Cats and Dogs has a clever premise surrounding the pet preferences of humans. Before I get into that, let me share a few observations. Among people who own at least one pet, most are either cat lovers or dog lovers. Often, they like one type of animal and dislike the other so that debates can take place about what type of pet is better. Now, the cats and dogs themselves may not be aware of what the humans are thinking, but they're already up at arms with each other just because of their defensive, self-protective nature. Either way, you have a reason to write a cinematic script about cats versus dogs.

In this movie, Jeff Goldblum plays a scientist who is close to finding a cure for dog allergies. Obviously, this is good news for the humans who may suffer from dog allergies. For the dogs, it's also good news, because that would mean they have a better chance of being loved as pets if dog allergies no longer become a problem for humans. However, the cats are angry over this. If dog allergies are forever eliminated, then those animals would become the preferred pet, leaving all cats alone without tender love and care from a single human. This cannot stand!

This is the creative premise that serves as the basis for a simple yet fun-filled plot. The cats are scheming to prevent the allergy cure from succeeding, while the dogs are stepping up as the defense. Of course, when humans are around, the animals on both sides assume false identities as cute household pets. Once the humans leave, the animals go back to their true identities: canine and feline spies. Just imagine a James Bond movie with furry creatures. It is amusing to note that, although there is no suave dog with a British accent in this movie, the villain is a white cat, as if the pet of Bond villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld finally gets its own movie.

The highlight of the movie is simply the action scenes throughout. It's fun to watch animal spies that, in the process of engaging in close combat and using high-tech gadgetry, destroy a household like disobedient pets. That's where the fun is. Your mind goes back and forth between seeing the characters as pets and seeing the characters as heroes and villains. I remember one scene where a Russian cat is fighting the main dog, and the two freeze when a human enters the house momentarily. Later, the cat opens a container of poop and stains the floor in order to frame the dog. In a rather interesting Bond reference, the cat says, "From Russia with love."

The first half of the movie was delightful, and I was surprised how the rest of the movie turned out. The climax brought a smile to my face because it was both exciting and clever. That's when I knew I had just seen a good movie. How good is it? Well, it's predictable and simple. But it is fun. The only thing I wonder is if the screenwriters for Cats and Dogs are dog lovers. If so, then that's a good thing. Why? Because by writing what they wish to write, the result would be a story that is entertaining and fresh. Just like this movie.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Cats and Dogs, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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