Dolittle, Movie Review
If Dolittle is any indication, then Robert Downey Jr.‘s movie life after Iron Man isn’t looking too good. Who knows what he thought he could bring to the role of Dr. John Dolittle, but this surely can’t be it. The man is filled with charisma from head to toe, yet somehow the impossible happens…it’s completely missing onscreen. Mix that with a no-fun, feather-headed story and even the youngest of moviegoers are doomed. The voyage of author Hugh Lofting‘s off-kilter veterinarian and his exotic animal amigos is a family friendly fiasco.
After the good doctor loses his explorer wife, Lily, to the sea – he shuts out everything he loves. He becomes an unkempt hermit, surrounding himself with creatures of all kinds just chatting it up. That is, until two kids show up on his doorstep. A boy named Stubbins (Harry Collett) comes barging in looking for someone to save an injured squirrel he accidentally shot. And Lady Rose (Carmel Laniado) comes with bad news concerning the young Queen Victoria (Wild Rose‘s Jessie Buckley) who is lying on her death bed because of a mysterious illness. To make matters worse, if the queen bites the dust, Dolittle’s sanctuary goes bye-bye. If that doesn’t finally get him out of the house, nothing will.
Dolittle, his pet pals, and his newly appointed apprentice Stubbins set off on an adventure to find a cure that’s going to save the queen and their hideaway. All they have to do is steal Mrs. Dolitte’s journal from her father, King Rassouli (Antonio Banderas), which should lead them to the mystical Eden Tree where its fruit has the almighty healing power they’re in search of. Too easy. However, they better watch out for a couple of rotten palace officials (played by Michael Sheen and Jim Broadbent) who want to be rid of Queen Victoria and Dolittle.
Watching RDJ in Dolittle brought back horrific flashbacks of Johnny Depp in Mortdecai. A-list actors becoming embarrassments of their profession. Though, RDJ will hopefully learn more from this monstrous mistake than Depp. Having said that, how do you rebound from a dragon farting in your face? It has to be considered good news for most of the cast whom only lend their voices and can’t be seen. But don’t think writer/director Stephen Gaghan allows them to escape unscathed. A mind-blowing cast made up of names like Emma Thompson, Kumail Nanjiani, Octavia Spencer, Rami Malek, Ralph Fiennes, and Tom Holland spew out mind-numbing dialogue written by the same person who won an Oscar for writing Traffic. Weird, right?
Dolittle isn’t amusing nor cute. It’s incompetent and charmless. Let’s snap this into dust.
Brandon Vick is a member of The Music City Film Critics’ Association, the resident film critic of the SoBros Network, and the star of The Vick’s Flicks Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @SirBrandonV and be sure to search #VicksFlicks for all of his latest movie reviews.