I’m not mad, Kevin, just really, really, bitterly disappointed. A two-time Oscar winner and world-renowned thesp, Spacey’s latest role is that of a cat. Yep, a blue-eyed feline. Helmed by Men in Black director Barry Sonnenfeld, and also starring Christopher Walken and Jennifer Garner, Nine Lives is the summer family flick that no one, young, old or in-between, wanted or deserved.
Super-rich businessman Tom Brand (Spacey) is a massive schmuck; too busy protecting his assets – and his inflated ego – the workaholic just doesn’t find the time for his frustrated second wife, Lara (Garner), son, David (Robbie Amell), and daughter, Rebecca (Malina Weissman), who’s about to celebrate her birthday. After stern words from his better half, Tom, begrudgingly, decides to buy Rebecca the cat she’s always craved as a birthday pressie. However, following a weird trip to Felix Perkins’ (Walken) pet store, a freak accident results in Tom’s transformation into his newly bought four- legged friend, Mr. Fluffypants, whilst his lifeless body lays in a coma. Yeah, seriously.
Suffering wives, attention-seeking kids and a home-shy father; Nine Lives bathes itself in family clichés – the least of its problems. Other than a few moments of cat-mania led by a booze-drinking Mr. Fluffypants, Sonnenfeld’s latest offering makes Garfield look like a comedy classic. Deeming it as merely ‘unmemorable’ is kind to a film that, other than a pretty impressive cast, has nothing going for it.
So unless you want your kids to endure Kevin Spacey working, eyes glazed in boredom, towards, what we can only hope, was a massive pay-check, take them to see something else. They’ve seen enough stupid cat videos on YouTube (incidentally referenced in the film); crazy kitties can only entertain for so long.