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"Dr. Dolittle: Tail To The Chief"
Reviewer:
Taylor Carlson
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Genre: Family
Release:
3/4/08
Special Features: Four Featurettes
Review:

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” award. ***

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. ---

Special Features:

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.

Final Words:

When will this series die? Let us pray my final words of this review will be the final words ever spoken about this franchise. Parents - if you're looking for a family-friendly comedy you and the kids alike will enjoy, look elsewhere. Kids will be bored by the obligatory messages of the movie, and adults will be turned off by what is obviously a half-assed, hurriedly-filmed pile of garbage. Easily one of the worst films of 2008 so far.

 

 
 
 
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