Starring: Bill Murray, Breckin Meyer, Jennifer Love Hewitt
Director: Peter Hewitt
Running Time: 80 mins
Garfield is an American film, based on the TV series and classic comics, about a fat, lazy tabby cat who feels his life has been intruded when his beloved owner adopts a dog. However, when said dog goes missing, Garfield feels he must do everything to save him.
There are two words that sum up this film very well: Animal Control. It’s one of those very formulaic kid-centric animal comedies with the usual mild peril of animal control, predictable story and largely unfunny comedy, and when it’s based off of an idea as classic as Garfield, that’s a real shame to see.
Honestly, from start to finish, I laughed properly about three times, and that was just when Bill Murray said something more Bill Murray-esque than Garfield-ish. On the whole, however, it’s full of family-friendly fun, which, although is fine enough for kids under 9 (and I should know, I loved this when I was little), is incredibly dull for anyone else to watch.
You would have thought that with a comedy that everybody used to love, coupled with the genius of Bill Murray’s comedic nature, this could have been a success, but the scripting and the formula are so restrictive to any true entertainment that it really is a big disappointment.
Also, some of the more outlandish comedic ideas of the writers are still as, if not more, unfunny. Bill Murray does a few musical numbers here and there, while the dancing dog who can’t dance, meant to be hilarious, really isn’t, and seeing as that sort of comedy keeps being pushed at you, it’s even worse.
One thing that isn’t so formulaic and kid-centric is the random romance in the middle of the story between the human characters. All of the humans are dull and pointless in this film, but they’re there to add a real-world sense to the thing, but what I can’t get over is the fact that there’s still quite a detailed romance pointlessly thrown into the middle of a kids’ film, having no plot purpose whatsoever, nor comedic value to add.
However, there is one element of this film that doesn’t ever get its kudos: Bill Murray. Standing out amongst a plethora of dullness, Murray’s voice suits Garfield’s character perfectly, and although the script may still be dull, he finds ways of making some stuff actually quite funny, which I guarantee someone else wouldn’t have been able to do.
Overall, this gets a 5.4, because although Bill Murray was good, the rest of it was a formulaic, dull and disappointingly unfunny kids’ film.