Garfield: The Movie

Bomb Rating: 

Little did anyone know that when Bill Murray was denied the Oscar for Best Actor, he was going to take it out on the world by providing the voice for a computer-generated Garfield the Cat in "Garfield: The Movie," a cinematic concept that's about as timely (and commercially viable) as "Pet Rock: The Movie."

This film is a clear case of advances in computer graphics being an example of digression and not progression. While everyone figured that special effects, explosions, and space ships would look a whole lot cooler with more powerful computers, few could have predicted that computer-generating a cartoon cat would prove that none of those advancements was worth it. If we could erase the entire history of computer special effects -- even if it meant no "Star Wars" and no "Matrix" -- I would do it in a heartbeat if it also meant no "Garfield: The Movie."

I actually heard somebody used the term "inspired" when referring to the choice of using Murray's voice for Garfield. I would have preferred 85 minutes of listening to a cat trying to climb up a chalkboard. Murray's vocal performance is a combination of annoying and embarrassing. Though he's trying to play a cat with a huge ego, you can hear the echo of a "what have I done to my career" scream going on in the back of his mind.

Breckin Meyer plays John while Jennifer Love Hewitt plays Liz, a veterinarian and John's love interest. You'd have to attend a John Tesh concert in the middle of a Des Moines suburb to get more vanilla than that. Liz provides Jon with Odie (played by a real dog), which provides the movie with its plot, wherein Odie gets stolen by Happy Chapman (Stephen Tobolowsky), a failed TV personality who sees the talented Odie as his ticket to the big time. Garfield decides to save Odie from Chapman's evil clutches.
Somebody needed to save me from the evil clutches of this movie.

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