Movie Review: Dolittle has a big heart

by Matthew Escosia
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In his first movie since Avengers: Endgame, Robert Downey Jr. is back with a whole new different role as Dr. Dolittle, the famous veterinarian who has the ability to talk to animals. It’s a reboot of the movie, Dr. Dolittle, starring Eddie Murphy in 2008 but the two have entirely different approaches to the story.

In this movie, Dr. Dolittle has secluded himself from society after he lost his wife five years ago in a tragic accident at sea. But when the Queen of England falls ill, Dr. Dolittle is called upon to collect the fruit from a mysterious tree that will cure the Queen with the help of his animal friends and new apprentice.

With that, here’s our High Five review of Dolittle.

Animals Come to “Life”

Making a movie with animal CGI is not an easy feat. Case in point: the Lion King live adaptation. But Dolittle did a good job at giving the animal CGIs emotion and this resulted in moviegoers empathizing more with them. For all animal lovers, the cute animals are sure to make you squeal with joy in the theatre.

 

RDJ Delivers

From a billionaire superhero to a recluse veterinarian, RDJ can do almost anything! He delivered his exaggeratedly comical acts and dialogues with gusto. This may not be his best role but RDJ seems to have mastered the devil-may-care act from his previous movies and transformed into the recluse doctor easily.

Banter with Animals

Dolittle tries hard to insert pop culture references and millennial humor in the movie. Some jokes were admittedly overused and didn’t quite hit the mark but it was still joyful to watch the many interactions between the doctor and the animals as well as between the animals themselves. It was cute to watch the clumsiness of Yoshi the always cold polar bear and his constant bickering with Plimpton the cynical ostrich.

Endless Adventure

Unlike the original movie, which was set in modern times and urban civilization, this reboot is set in Victorian England. While both are comedy films, this 2020 reboot is, at its heart, an adventure film, one that may remind you of Pirates of the Caribbean. This world was more magical and whimsical, one that still has so much potential and unexplored areas.

With a Heart

For the reboot, it’s obvious the producers made the effort to add depth and substance to Dr. Dolittle’s character, giving him a tragic backstory that caused him to shut out any other human in his life. This often fueled Dr. Dolittle’s actions, propelling him forward when it seems all hope is lost. Even the animals got their time in the spotlight with Chee-Chee the gorilla (voiced by Rami Malek) as a standout, as he dealt with his anxiety by trying to find his inner strength.

Not everything in the movie in necessary though as it contained several plot holes and inconveniences. The audience was bombarded with action after action that we barely had time to get to know and love its many interesting characters. While Dolittle may be mediocre at best, it still gave moviegoers a fun time at the cinema. This movie is perfect to watch with kids or if you simply need a light-hearted movie to watch.

We are giving this movie 2 1/2 out of 5 waves!

Dolittle is now showing in cinemas and is distributed by Universal Pictures. Watch the trailer below:

 

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