Garfield: The Movie (2/10)

Copyright © 2004 by Tony Medley

In 1983 ABC created a TV series starring Dabney Coleman, entitled Buffalo Bill. The idea was to present a cantankerous sportscaster who alienated everyone. They did their job too well because Colemanís character was so despicable, nobody liked him, including the audience. As a result the show died a quick death.

Although Garfield is alleged to be the worldís most widely read comic strip, syndicated in 2,600 newspapers and the strip claims readership of 260 million (this is a bogus claim because not all the readers of these newspapers read Garfield), I am not one of its readers, so Iím not entirely sure of Garfieldís character in the strip. But in this movie, heís a fat, unattractive, selfish, uncaring, obnoxious cat. I found nothing endearing, funny, or entertaining about Garfield or the film. I didnít even like the Computer Generated Image of Garfield.

Donít get me wrong. Even though I donít like feature length cartoons (incidentally, this isnít a cartoon; all the characters are real except Garfield), Iím a lifelong fan of Peanuts, Charlie Brown and Snoopy. I like the half hour Peanuts TV shows. Garfield: The Movie is another matter. I saw nothing to like and the children who were in the screening I attended didnít seem to like it either. There was noticeably little laughter.  The plot is basically non-existent. Oh, he does something mean to a dog and then tries to rectify the situation. But basically Garfield is just selfish and obnoxious to everyone.

Worse is Garfieldís voice by Bill Murray. The audio is constant, never ending jabber. It keeps coming, like tidal wave after tidal wave. Garfield breaks the fourth wall, speaking directly to the audience, a la Bob Hope. Alas, this is no Bob Hope. Heís more like an irritating relative who invites himself for dinner and never leaves and never stops talking. There was such a barrage of words coming from Murrayís mouth that it almost made me bilious.

I wouldnít recommend this to anybody. At only 80 minutes, itís still too long.

June 5, 2004

The End