Dr. Dolittle: Tail To The Chief is directed by Craig
Shapiro, and stars Kyla Pratt, Peter Coyote, and Greg Ellis.
This is the fourth installment of the rebooted Dr. Dolittle
franchise that launched with the 1998 film starring Eddie
Murphy as the title character. Here, the doctor is out.
His daughter tries to get into college, but is not accepted
due to her weak grades. Sharing her father's gift for talking
to animals, she takes his place for a trip to Washington,
DC. The president has a dog that, while lovable, constantly
misbehaves, and she has to help get that dog to behave.
The president is expecting a foreign visitor seeking American
help for saving a rainforest…. And apparently the dog needs
to be well-behaved by then. ***
Did you have a hard time keeping up with that plot
paragraph? Yes, this movie is THAT bad. Numerous subplots
thrown together to create a half-finished movie that was
rightfully released direct to DVD make up this steaming
pile. There are no laughs to be had here (wasn't this supposed
to be a comedy?), the half-assed attempts at humor all fall
dead in their tracks, and seemingly obligatory “save the
rainforests” message weighs the film down more than it helps
it. It's only been 2008 for about two months, and I already
have a likely contender for my “worst movie of the year”
This is a series that, to say the least, I don't understand
how it got so many sequels. The original film in this series,
the 1998 one starring Eddie Murphy, was no prize in its
own right. Dr. Dolittle is (and always has been) a one-joke
character, with that one joke being the ability to talk
to the animals. Because of this, the filmmakers have to
come up with ways to fill the rest of an otherwise lacking
movie. And what do they fill it with? Toilet humor. They
could have at least made an effort to make a family-friendly
comedy that was enjoyable. Instead we have over an hour
of jokes revolving around flatulence, and a convoluted story
that makes no sense. It's time this series got put to sleep.
Perhaps the greatest enigma about this series is its
cast. What the hell possessed Peter Coyote to appear in
this movie? Is he THAT desperate for money? Kyla Pratt has
proven herself to be a talented young actress before, and
I seriously believe she has a future in the movies. Unfortunately,
actors can only be as good as the writers' material and
the direction allow them to be. In other words, no one here
gives a memorable performance, which is disappointing considering
the triumphs some of these actors have had in the past.
Image And Sound:
This is an average transfer, nothing more. Things get
a little blurry at times, and it's clear that the image
was just slapped on DVD with little or no concern for the
way it would come out looking. Sound is fine, I didn't see
any issues in that department to speak of. ---
There are three featurettes revolving around the production
of the film, but even combined together, these add up to
less than fifteen minutes. They felt more focused towards
children than anyone else, and the same can be said of the
interactive Endangered Animals featurette. I'm glad that
SOME bonus material was included, but it's all kid stuff.
If you're old enough to be reading this review, you're too
old to enjoy the bonus material on this disc.