Most movie critics hated the original Garfield movie and were appalled by the fact that a sequel was in the works. Personally, I say “get over yourselves.” If the original movie had not developed a loyal following, then a sequel would never have been made. Sometimes critics forget that moviegoers don’t always go to the movies for social content. Sometimes they look for films that simply entertain them or allow them to escape the humdrum of their everyday lives. That, and only that, is what “Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties” is all about.
The sequel brings us even more of what we love: more Garfield. In this case we get the real Garfield – – the lovable, smart aleck cat who loves lasagna with a passion and barely tolerates his canine buddy, Odie and Prince, his look-a-like aristocat who has just inherited his own palatial estate. Garfield is voiced once again by Bill Murray and the equally hilarious Tim Curry voices Prince. Two Garfields for the price of one. What more can anyone ask?
The movie begins as Garfield’s owner, Jon – – played once again by Breckin Meyer – – is preparing to propose to the lovely Liz, Garfield’s veterinarian – – with Jennifer Love Hewitt reprising the role. However, this is not a merger that Garfield wants to take place so when Liz announces that she is off to England to speak at a conference and Jon follows her, Garfield decides he too must go. Of course, Odie tags along for good measure.
Just as the American group makes their way across the ocean to the British isle, Garfield’s look-a-like Prince discovers that his life might be in danger. It seems that Lord Dargis, played by Billy Connolly, had assumed that the castle and all of the requisite wealth attached to it would be left to him. He is none too happy about the turn of events that leaves Prince in possession of everything. However, he finds out that he is second in line to inherit. That means, if he can do away with the cat, he can make good on his plans to turn the castle into a resort.
What follows is a rather obvious story. The two cats get separated from their owners and ultimately are mistaken for one another. Garfield ends up in the castle fending off Lord Dargis and finding out what the good life really is, while Prince ends up having to fend for himself but also getting a taste of what it would be like to have a real family that loves him. Eventually, both cats get back to their real lives and Garfield embraces the impending marriage of Jon and Liz.
Okay, so this isn’t great art but it is a lot of fun and Murray voices Garfield with such humor and wit that he is just plain hard to resist. While you don’t see much of Hewitt in this film, what you do see shows an actress who knows how to charm the lasagna right out from under Garfield’s nose. She’s sweet, she’s pretty, she’s bubbly and perky. She is what the film called for in this instance. Even Meyer, who I had never heard of before the Garfield films, is competent and endearing in the role of Jon. But let’s face it, the star of the show is always Garfield. It is just impossible not to love that cat!
I give the film three stars. It certainly isn’t great filmmaking but it is pleasant entertainment and sometimes that is exactly what we need.
Garfield is a 20th Century Fox production in conjunction with Davis Entertainment Company. It is directed by Tim Hill and produced by Michele Imperato-Stabile, Brian D. Manis, and John Davis. It is one hour and 20 minutes in length and is rated PG.