Nine Lives: Not Even Kevin Spacey Can Save Dull, Outdated Premise
Christopher WalkenJennifer Garner...
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Disappointingly cartoonish and almost unbearable to sit-through, Barry Sonnenfeld’s Nine Lives – the Wild, Wild West director sinks to a new low here – is just as dreadful as its trailer suggest. The story – shockingly credited to a total of five screenwriters – is lethargic and uninteresting with Sonnefeld’s inability to ignite some much-needed energy or thematic effects into the mix, clearl throughout the entire ordeal.
The story is centred on Tom Brand (Spacey); an outspoken and a hot-headed New York real estate kingpin who is currently devoting all of his hours to putting the finalising touches on the largest skyscraper the world has ever seen. Working alongside his son David (Amell), Tom is a workaholic and his long working hours tend to keep him away from spending more time with his second wife, Lara (Garner), and their daughter, Rebecca (Weissman).
In an attempt to make up for missing out on his daughter’s eleventh birthday, Tom decides to buy her a cat from a mysterious pet shop owner named Felix (Walken). Picking out Mr. Fuzzypants as the gift, things take a turn for the wacky when, Tom falls off a roof and through a glass wall, losing consciousness in the process. Miraculously, he survives the fall but, when he awakes, Tom realises he’s trapped inside the body of Mr. Fuzzypants.
It’s seemingly hard to get excited or find anything nice to say about this latest talking-pet-family comedy that, considering its poorly constructed script and even worse special effects – seventy percent of the movie was entirely computer generated – seems lazy and uninterested in telling any kind of story to begin with. What’s even more surprising about Nine Lives is that it’s produced by Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp – the production company behind hits like Taken, The Transporter and Lucy – making you wonder what possessed them to take on the story of a human trapped inside a body of a feline in the first place. It just doesn’t make sense.
It’s not entirely surprising, though, that Spacey was chosen to play Mr Fuzzypants, with the Oscar winner and House of Cards star’s alluring yet coldly indifferent voice standing in as the perfect match for the role of the cat. However, thanks to a long-series of bad jokes – which of course include plenty of poop gags – lame dialogue and a script that can’t seem to come into its own, Nine Lives has racked up enough points to be nominated as one of the worst films of 2016.