Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Harry Collett, Emma Thompson, Rami Malek
Director: Stephen Gagnan
I don’t know the hell that Downey Jr. is going through now that his time in the MCU is up, but there has to be a better outlet than doing projects like this. Seriously, did he actually believe that this was the next logical step in his career? Going from one of the most beloved characters of the decade to fumbling around a nonsense movie about a man who can talk to animals. That paycheck must’ve been irresistible, because there’s nothing redeeming about this movie. An unoriginal rehash at best and a bizarre look into the human psyche at worst, Dolittle is the remake nobody asked for and may end up as one of the worst movies of the year.
The film follows Dr. Dolittle (Downey Jr.), a veterinarian who has the gift to speak to animals. After his wife dies, he becomes a recluse and doesn’t open his practice to the public. When the Queen of England falls ill, she requests that Dolittle and his animal team go on an adventure to find a cure and save her life. With time of the essence and rivals out there looking to stop Dolittle, we spend 101 minutes watching as Dolittle and his team of animals navigate a perilous journey and hopefully have what it takes to save the Queen. The main issue with this movie is that almost every decision made by Gagnan is jarring. Specifically, he had no idea what to do with Downey Jr. and placed him in a situation where there was no chance he could succeed. I want to know whose decision it was to make Downey Jr. do that ridiculous accent, because whoever it was should never work on a movie set again. It’s preposterous to believe that a group of industry professionals sat down and believed that was the best thing they could do with this character and shows a complete lack of care towards the movie. Believe it or not, I thought this movie would be worse when one of the first scenes shows Dolittle screaming in animal noises trying to communicate with the animal, but luckily we get his choppy and unnecessary accent instead. It’s clear that this movie was intended to be viewed by younger audiences, but I think children are smart enough to see through the nonsense they were given here. Kids don’t exactly have the most sophisticated sense of humor imaginable, but I think they have better things to do than watch Dolittle get farted on by a dragon (this is a real scene I swear). There was absolutely no reason for Dolittle to get made and it shows just how out of touch these studios are from the audiences they make movies for. Universal completely underestimated how bad this movie could be and I hope this isn’t a trend that continues for them for the rest of the year. Even for a January release Dolittle is a complete disaster that should be avoided by anyone who values their time and self-worth.
Overall, Dolittle is the type of movie that’s so bad it can kill people’s careers. I’d be very surprised if Gagnan gets another opportunity to make a movie with this big of a budget when we know what’s done with this waste of time. This movie has multiple well-established A-list actors in it, and I have no idea what compelled them to do a movie that was very clearly a disaster from the start. I don’t often root for people to lose their jobs, but anyone who thought that Dolittle was a good idea should seriously reevaluate their position in the film industry and figure out if it’s really a good idea to keep at this job.
Overall Score: 2/10