Comic Con is this week and that means we get a slew of new trailers. If you follow movie development at all, you know the biggest bombshell from the convention was our first look at Top Gun: Maverick. As a huge aviation nut and unashamed fan of the first film, I am beyond excited to see what crazy filmography and fun cornball plot Tom Cruise will pull off in the sequel.
But I’m not going to talk about Top Gun. Instead, my pent-up fury necessitates that I berate a loathsome product from the convention that nobody asked for and nobody deserves: a trailer for an apparent live-action adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Broadway show, Cats.
What the hell is this thing. I’ll be perfectly honest, even though there’s plenty of musicals I enjoy, Cats is one of the most garish and least clever to come off of Broadway. Infused with new-age energy that drives a stomach-churning premise of a fantasy tribe of cats (“The Jellicles”) ascending to pagan heaven, there is hardly anything likable about any aspect of this production. Yes it has some very catchy tunes (Memory, Macavity the Mystery Cat), but they hardly make up for a premise that makes Harry Potter sound like it was written by Mary Mother of Jesus. I’m also extremely allergic to cats, which I’m sure reinforces my bias. Cats are also far more independent than dogs and subsequently make for less enjoyable pets. Their isolationist tendencies seem to broaden divides between themselves and their owners, leading to more aggressive patterns in their later years, as opposed to dogs who become closer and more loyal.
Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, and Idris Elba have their talents squandered by a poor choice in depiction
Ok back to the topic. The thing with the stage version of Cats was, by obvious necessity, the cast wore cat suits, as the entire visual display was meant to be symbolic. This is abundantly clear to nearly everyone, which is why I am livid and beyond shocked that the film has chosen to adapt the show with anthropomorphic human-cat hybrids. My God. Tom Hooper is a pretty solid director with his current filmography track record, not necessarily a true master of adapting musicals, but his work has been serviceable. I would normally trust a man of his background’s judgement. Call me skeptical, but I feel certain that neither he nor his production team thought this one through very well. These visuals lie far beyond the uncanny valley.
I’m a simple man: I see James Corden and Rebel Wilson dancing as anthropomorphic cats, I hit dislike
The nightmare fuel that we got in the trailer is absolutely absurd, and my questions regarding its existence are boundless. Why did they think these visuals would be tasteful to an audience? Was it because they tried to capitalize on familiarity? did executive producer Andrew Lloyd Weber convince the crew to not just make CGI cats? Most importantly, who in their right mind thought “lets premier the trailer for Cats at a trade show that does not cater whatsoever to the musical crowd!”? Perhaps the best question is why does this movie need to exist. I’m sure we’ll never learn a good answer.
Public feedback on this trailer has been primarily scathing, although I’m sure the Furries will get off on this. Otherwise, few people feel comfortable taking a glance at these CGI monstrosities. I feel particularly bad for the VFX department as well as the mostly stellar cast attached to this project. I am sure they will make the most of it and bring their best work to task. Do not expect me to write a review of this film though, I’ve already spent 15 minutes washing my eyes out after a 3 minute trailer, and would rather not sit through the whole run time of Cats.