‘Dolittle’ not doing enough

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‘Dolittle’ not doing enough

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

Since I have never seen the previous movies about  the adventures of Dr. John Dolittle, I had no idea what to expect when I walked into the theater to watch “Dolittle.” The film left me with mixed feelings, and, though there were some captivating moments, I wouldn’t watch it again.

The protagonist, Dolittle, was first introduced in a series of children’s books which were later adapted into several films. Dolittle is a physician who has the ability to communicate with animals, preferring to care for them over humans. The character has been played by various actors including Eddie Murphy, Tim Curry, Rex Harrison and now Robert Downey Jr..

In the movie, Dr. Dolittle (Downey) is well known all over the world for his ability to talk to and heal animals. England’s Queen Victoria (Jessie Buckley) gifts him a large estate where he can continue his practice. However, when Dolittle suffers a great tragedy he shuts out humans and stops his work as a physician and explorer. Once the Queen becomes terminally ill, however, Dolittle and his team of animals embark on an adventure to find a cure, facing several obstacles along the way.

The one thing that this movie excels at is comedy. The jokes and well-timed comments genuinely made me laugh. Throughout the film, there are bits of comedy that lighten the mood at times when the plot becomes dark. Another highlight were the inventions that Dolittle creates, such as a harness for a whale or a machine that prepares food for all of the animals.

The storyline is very predictable from the start except for a few events that seem forced and awkward. Despite this, the movie still grasped my attention. It was interesting to see the movie switch back and forth from hearing what the animals actually sounded like to what they were saying in English.

After seeing how far CGI has come with movies such as “The Lion King,” I was disappointed with the animals in “Dolittle.” They didn’t look as realistic and at times look more like cartoons as opposed to high-tech CGI animals.

Overall, “Dolittle” is very different from movies I had seen before, but the plot and special effects fell short. I would recommend this movie to people just looking for a light-hearted laugh, but if you want to see a surprising plotline and special effects that match the standard of today’s technology, this film is not for you.