Dolittle Poster

Dolittle (2020)

1h 41m
January 1st 2020
Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Family

After losing his wife seven years earlier, the eccentric Dr. John Dolittle, famed doctor and veterinarian of Queen Victoria’s England, hermits himself away behind the high walls of Dolittle Manor with only his menagerie of exotic animals for company. But when the young queen falls gravely ill, a reluctant Dolittle is forced to set sail on an epic adventure to a mythical island in search of a cure, regaining his wit and courage as he crosses old adversaries and discovers wondrous creatures.

Dolittle (2020) on IMDb

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Robert Downey Jr
Robert Downey Jr. Dr. John Dolittle
Antonio Banderas
Antonio Banderas King Rassouli
Michael Sheen
Michael Sheen Dr. Blair Müdfly
Jim Broadbent
Jim Broadbent Lord Thomas Badgley
Jessie Buckley
Jessie Buckley Queen Victoria
Harry Collett
Harry Collett Tommy Stubbins
Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson Poly (voice)
Rami Malek
Rami Malek Chee-Chee (voice)
John Cena
John Cena Yoshi (voice)
Kumail Nanjiani
Kumail Nanjiani Plimpton (voice)
Octavia Spencer
Octavia Spencer Dab-Dab (voice)
Tom Holland
Tom Holland Jip (voice)
Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson Kevin (voice)
Ralph Fiennes
Ralph Fiennes Barry (voice)
Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez Betsy (voice)
Marion Cotillard
Marion Cotillard Tutu (voice)
Kasia Smutniak
Kasia Smutniak Lily Dolittle
Carmel Laniado
Carmel Laniado Lady Rose
Frances de la Tour
Frances de la Tour Dragon (voice)
Jason Mantzoukas
Jason Mantzoukas James the Dragonfly (voice)
Ralph Ineson
Ralph Ineson Arnall Stubbins
Joanna Page
Joanna Page Bethan Stubbins
Sonny Ashbourne Serkis
Sonny Ashbourne Serkis Arnall Stubbins Jr.
Oliver Chris
Oliver Chris Sir Gareth
Clive Francis
Clive Francis Archbishop
Directed By: Stephen Gaghan
Written By: Chris McKay (Screenplay), Stephen Gaghan (Screenplay), + 1 more

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by msbreviews - Is this helpful?UpvoteDownvote
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We have all watched the Dolittle movies starring Eddie Murphy. I'm not going to lie, I was never a fan of these films. Yes, they're purposefully dumb, innocent, and feature that basic level of comedy. They never annoyed me, but they also never did anything remarkably surprising. 2020's version of the known tale is the first post-MCU role of Robert Downey Jr., it boasts an A-list cast, and… it's one of the worst movies of the year, without a single doubt. A complete disaster in every area of filmmaking.

I don't even know where to start. Maybe with RDJ since he's the most significant negative surprise. I can't believe such a charismatic and now iconic actor like him could deliver a performance this awful. His Welsh (?) accent is not only a terrible choice character-wise, but I doubt that any children can understand what he's saying. RDJ acts like a baffling caricature of himself, not helping an already flawed film. The voice work from the remaining cast might be the only positive of the whole movie, but the CGI animals are way too unconvincing.

However, as always, the most impactful issues belong to the actual story. Instead of being an entertaining and fun adventure, it's an incredibly boring, nonsensical, structure-less journey into one of the most ridiculous third acts of cinema. Even placing myself in a child's mind, I don't think I would be able to enjoy this mess of a screenplay. Like I wrote above, not even the animals look great…

Certain characters possess these unknown relationships that the audience is supposed to care about, but no background is given to any of them. Tons of plot points lack a logical explanation. The entire narrative is void of any creativity or uniqueness whatsoever, looking simply like a lazy, unimaginative piece of work. The "young queen who falls gravely ill" is just a woman sleeping in bed, not looking ill at all, which proves that not even the makeup department was interested in making an effort.

But all of the issues above are nothing compared to the film's climax. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll just write that I still can't believe what I witnessed. Around ninety minutes of build-up lead to the most shocking, hilarious, utterly absurd moment. The humor is a level below childish. Dozens of fart jokes (including one during the climax), over-the-top reactions, and I don't even know what else. Between Bloodshot, Fantasy Island, and The Grudge… Let the devil come and choose!

All in all, Dolittle is a massive fail at all levels. It was meant to be one of the worst movies of the year, and it undoubtedly accomplished this goal. From the surprisingly awful performance from Robert Downey Jr. to one of the most shockingly terrible climaxes in the history of cinema, Stephen Gaghan delivers a structure-less screenplay, filled with nonsensical narrative decisions, and featuring an extremely dull adventure. The CGI animals are far from being remotely impressive, the characters lack personality (bringing an A-list actor doesn't guarantee anything), and the comedy is so astonishingly basic that I doubt kids will laugh at some of the jokes, and they laugh at everything. With a budget of 175M (!!!), it's not understandable how and why a studio would waste this much money on such an obvious flop. The voice work from the cast is good… and it genuinely could have been worse. This is the closest I can get to a positive.

Rating: D-

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