Garfield 2 (2006)
When I reviewed the first "Garfield" movie I wasn't impressed and felt that the character worked best in short bursts not for a solid 80 minutes. I guess the studios didn't think so because we got "Garfield 2" or "Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties" as it was originally called. In reality I presume "Garfield" must have made a reasonable profit as all the issues I had with the first movie return in force in the second and so whilst we have a different storyline "Garfield 2" is most definitely not an improvement.
John (Breckin Meyer) is about to propose to Liz (Jennifer Love Hewitt) when she informs him that she is off to England the next morning. Being the romantic that he is John decides to follow her over and propose whilst in London, but he didn't expect Garfield and Odie to sneak out of the kennels and join him. But that is just one of his problems as in England is Garfield's doppelganger Prince who has been left an entire estate much to the annoyance of Dargis (Billy Connolly), the nephew of the Lady who passed away. When Dargis tries to get rid of Prince he finds him returned except in a case of mistaken identity it is Garfield who the butler has brought back thinking he is Prince.
There is a fundamental problem when it comes to turning Garfield into a movie character and that is both adults and children like the comic strip and trying to please those just discovering the joy of Garfield as well as those who have loved the character for years is not an easy task. Sadly when it comes to "Garfield 2" it seems like they have not bothered with trying to offer anything to older fans and just gone for complete simplicity aimed at young audiences. And that simplicity starts with the story which sees Garfield and his British doppelganger called Prince switching places thanks to a bad guy who needs Prince gone to inherit a castle. Adults will recognize the story and so it offers no surprises but will be fun for youngsters who may not have come across the various similar stories.
So typically this means that "Garfield 2" expectedly is all about the humour of Garfield ending up at a Castle where he has a life of luxury and then Prince with John and Odie. The shame of this is that it isn't at all funny with weak gags which also ended up being very repetitive. And the repetitiveness comes often in the form of the nefarious Dargis who thinks Garfield is Prince and tries to despatch the clever cat. Maybe the cuteness of Garfield teaching the barnyard animals all about Lasagne will amuse young audiences but it does nothing for older viewers.
Now when it comes to the performances both Breckin Meyer and Jennifer Love Hewitt basically deliver the same stuff they did first time around which I didn't enjoy then and don't enjoy in this movie. But then when it comes to the humans Billy Connolly is sort of the star as the evil Dargis although Dargis is by no means mean enough and for some reason Connolly comes across like he is imitating John Cleese. Thankfully Bill Murray returns to voice Garfield and they got the great Tim Curry to voice Prince with them both delivering sarcasm brilliantly.
What this all boils down to is that "Garfield 2" was a disappointment and seemed a movie which targeted itself for a young audience but neglected those adults who love Garfield just as much. It means we have a simple story, simple humour and simple performances with only the voice work of Billy Murray and Tim Curry really entertaining those over the age of 15.
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