The Cat in the Hat (2003) – Don’t Mess with the Hat

While the book is an all-time classic, I’m not too cynical about this live-action adaptation from “The Cat in the Hat”. It’s a historic heritage in terms of set, properties, and production. Partly, the movie is really good even critic really shows this movie as overwhelming dislike. Cynicism movie with a biased review, this movie comes out from nowhere. It’s another overweight of cheap style like “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. But, Jim Carrey really killed it in the movie. The whole thing you could talk about is that I don’t understand where this film refers. Children? Adults? Both of them?

Poor Dr. Seuss. Every time Mike Myers as The Cat throws adult humor, Dr. Seuss rolled in his grave. It’s a ritual sacrifice but not for Myers. People know Myers because there are so many popular movies such as “Wayne’s World” and “Austin Powers” series. From here, people also began to realize that Myers only played his character as Mike Myers. It’s like saying Jim Carrey played by Jim Carrey or Steve Carell played by Steve Carell. Both of them imprisoned between their character and himself. They blur reality in their impersonated while Myers really stuck in his character.

This Bo Welch’s direction of live action tells about two kids: Conrad (Spencer Breslin) and Sally (Dakota Fanning). While Conrad always blames her sister for the chaos he often makes, Sally was more compulsive. Both of them are lifeless, no expression in them, and there are no characters on screen. Kelly Preston as Joan is a realtor working for Sean Hayes as Mr. Humberfloob. Their mother always depends on their home appliances with such a reception. When she trusted a babysitter, Amy Hill as Mrs. Kwan, everything isn’t going well. Enter the Cat spoils everything. And note, he also promoted something in this film. Can’t wait to see that actually!

The movie has a great production design. The color, the set, Welch really has potential to it. He has also been part of production design in so many previous films such as “Edward Scissorhands”, “A Little Princess”, and “Men in Black”. “The Cat in the Hat” is his directorial debut. Seems like he wants something new. The cast or even the cinematographer is Emmanuel Lubezki, everybody. It’s Lubezki who took its photograph for this movie. Just, amazing. The screenplay was also written by Alec Berg, a producer to “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, “Silicon Valley”, and “Barry”. David Mendel, the creator of “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, and Jeff Schaffer, the creator of “Seinfeld”, participated in helping Berg.

But, I think Mrs. Kwan turns into something imaginary like a playground, an old racist grandma who really hate Asian. Even though is quite funny but the placement of humor is really cringing. Everything about her is just incredible. Her make-up, design, characteristic, was this a satire? Have I gone deep into the rabbit hole? Glad to see the kids and the cat mount her and she down with both of them. She was just too creative and offensive especially if this is Dr. Seuss’ “The Cat in the Hat”. Is the lesson we get in the book the same as with this pretentious live-action movie? Hell fricking no!

And I don’t think it’s funny at all. Of course, comedy is always subjective but I just wonder if anyone laughs watching this film. Dr. Seuss didn’t get it funny, Bo Welch didn’t get it funny, all the scriptwriter didn’t get it funny, and the audience didn’t get it funny at all. There is a subplot, I mean, a “subplot” in this movie. It just adds nothing when you want to show a family conflict in this anxious comedy movie. Alec Baldwin also seems to enjoy the grace and the gift of this movie.

Many people grow up with this movie and when they are adults, they say that this is just their guilty pleasure. Everybody has that, we have so many dirty jokes in the MTV age, “Beavis and Butt-head”, or etc. “The Cat in the Hat” is very close when saying that this is a comedy with adult humor film for kids. A comedy with adult humor intended for kids? A match made in heaven. It’s rude, stupid, yet kind of hilarious as a part of the entertainment. But, this is just where we have stopped here. Yet, nowadays, there are many films especially Dr. Seuss adaptation movie with the same fate. Just get out of here!

1.5 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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