Returning for the first time after Avengers: Endgame, Robert Downey Jr. offered audiences a rendition of Dr. Dolittle as 2020 began warming up. For me, this film was far from memorable.
Dolittle, released Jan. 17, was directed by Stephen Gaghan. With an estimated budget of $175 million and a cast list with names like Emma Thompson, Tom Holland, Octavia Spencer, and Selena Gomez, this interpretation of the Dr. Dolittle story had a promising head start. However, this head start fell short and couldn’t save the production from receiving a rotten 19% on Rotten Tomatoes.
No expenses were spared when it came time to the animation of the animals, although it seemed as if this was the only place time was given. The storyline was haphazard, the characters lacked depth and personality, and Downey’s Dolittle came off as awkward, uninteresting, and poorly written. Downey sported what was supposedly a Welsh accent throughout the film, but to say this would be offensive to any Welsh readers.
The film opened with an extremely rushed introduction that wrapped up in probably less than three minutes. This created a sense that the production company was so focused on making action and adventure in the latter half of the film that they forgot to give it a foundation in the beginning.
While there were few moments worthy of a chuckle, the overall humor in the film was cringey and consisted of cheap, one-liners given in manners that seemed to be attempts of quick-wittedness and intellect. This, combined with the two-dimensional characters, made for a confusing 141 minutes in which existences (both in the film and personal) were questioned.
There wasn’t time to find the plot because no time was given to build one in the first place. To sum up the characteristics of the film, it simply seemed like the production tried to make as many action-filled scenes as possible, regardless of if they made sense or not. Like a patchwork blanket, one colorful scene was sewn to the next with no real bridge or sense made in-between.
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