As part of a new wave of live-action remakes of cinema and on-stage classics, Cats the movie is the next CGI production to hit the big screen. A musical theatre triumph composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and based on T.S. Elliot’s 1939 anthology, Cats the movie seems slightly less striking than previous stage versions. Indeed, the trailer, released on Thursday last week, presents something much fishier.
At just over two minutes in length, the official trailer features the human-like cats we are familiar with, frolicking around lamp-lit streets and swept up in song and dance. The movement is slick, but in the same way as the recently introduced and swiftly abandoned Sonic the Hedgehog remodel, they appear much creepier. The musical is notoriously strange, often bordering on unsettling, but the trailer seems to achieve this to a different, less assured effect. The production seems garish and, as any viewers have commented, the cats played by female actors have breasts – the reason for which remains unclear.
The casting also feels quite odd. Alongside names like Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen, we see bumbly British actor and presenter James Corden and the once-mainstream R&B artist Jason Derulo, completing what seems to be a slightly mismatched cast. Other faces spotted throughout the trailer are Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson and Aussie actress Rebel Wilson who, once again, is cast as the signature goofy character – perhaps a treat for the few who the novelty has still not worn off for.
So far, the reception of the official trailer has been markedly poor, with critics uniting across the board. Publications like the Guardian and Rolling Stone side with Twitter commentators, with all feeling mutually sceptical and, at best, mildly entertained. However, the comedic effect is apparently not in the sense that the director has intended.
By Safi Bugel
Image courtesy of Empire