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Published On: Thu, Jan 16th, 2020

Robert Downey Jr can’t make ‘Dolittle’ interesting

Universal tapped into Robert Downey Jr. to develop a Doctor Dolittle project with high-priced visual effects and a talented cast of actors to voice Dolittle’s menagerie of critters. The result; however, is surprisingly boring and uninteresting.

A brief narration sets up John Dolittle, a World War I veterinarian extraordinaire, earning wealth and fame by using his amazing skill of “speaking” with the animals to build a lavish sanctuary and find love with an adventurous wife. Like many tales for kids, she dies and leaves Dolittle trapped in his grief, discovered decades later as bizarre recluse by a pair of children named Tommy (Harry Collett) and Lady Rose (Carmel Laniado).

Dolittle is essentially drafted into service to find a cure for ailing Queen (Jessie Buckley), which will save his animal sanctuary from the clutches of a pair of “villains”: Blair Müdfly (Michael Sheen) and Lord Badgley (Jim Broadbent). Dolittle is joined by his family of expensive voiced actors/animals: Tom Holland (as a wolfhound), Octavia Spencer (a high-strung duck) and Emma Thompson as Poly, a battered blue-and gold macaw.

Yes, there are a ton of other animals on the journey as Dolittle’s voyage takes off.

Dr. John Dolittle (Robert Downey Jr.) and parrot Polynesia (Emma Thompson) in “Dolittle.”

As mentioned, Dolittle never finds anything to connect with the audience. Clearly targeting children and family with clean and amusing humor, director Stephen Gaghan can only muster grins and smiles and no real laughs.

Universal hired high-priced actors (John Cena, Kumail Nanjiani and Rami Malek), paid for expensive reshoots and should have tried to fix the script.

For example, French actress Marion Cotillard voices a fox, who is never really relevant to the plot, but gets to tap into her heritage for yell: “Vive la résistance,” for no reason at all. Antonio Banderas comes and goes as a pirate king, reduced to a benign plot device while Downey Jr. wanders in and out of scenes, seemingly as uninterested as the audience.

Some members of the all-star cast have been left out of my analysis and will likely thank me for not linking them to this atrocity.

Oh yeah, there’s a dragon and a horrible, horrible gag to setup….well, a fart joke. It’s just one eye roll after another.

Dolittle earns 1 1/2 stars out of 5 stars

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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