I can’t quite believe this is actually a film. Kevin Spacey plays a businessman, Tom Brand, who normally ignores his children and wife in favour of attempting to build the highest building in North America. In an attempt to teach him a lesson Christopher Walken, who owns Purrkins Pet Shop, turns him into a cat.
Now if you regularly read my posts you’ll know that I recently did a post on my Top 5 films that are so bad they’re good. I went in to Nine Lives expecting it to be bad, and so was hoping that it could be truly awful and make itself such a film. Nine Lives is genuinely horrible, but sadly I just didn’t find it laugh out loud and clingy bad enough. The sequences with the cat often fit this bill, but there are large parts revolving around his company and building. That whole storyline is just terminally dull and not of interest to anyone.
And the performances. Guys, Kevin Spacey is an incredible actor, he’s an academy award winner, and I’m not sure what’s gone wrong that forced him to do this film, but he seems genuinely pained to be doing this. When he’s playing the human version of Brand he is so wooden, and gives one of the worst performances of his career, and even when he’s voicing the cat he sounds like he doesn’t want to be there. Amazingly Christopher Walken wasn’t allowed to go full on insane Walken, which might have helped the film. Jennifer Garner who plays Brand’s wife and Robbie Amell who plays his son aren’t great either. Honestly I can’t blame these actors too much, they can only work with what they’re given, and it’s really not much in this case, but there still isn’t a good performance in this film.
I genuinely can’t believe that Barry Sonnenfeld, who directed the two Addams Family films and the first Men In Black one of the greatest films of the last twenty years, directed Nine Lives. He also worked as a cinematographer on many of the Coen Brothers’ early works. How he has now made a film as boring and bad as Nine Lives is beyond me.
There are the odd moments that are laugh out loud awful, but most of these are to do with how bad the effects on the cat when he does unnatural things. He looks completely fake and CGI, but then I’d have be shocked if anything in the film was good. If they’d gone overboard on the bad puns, that could have been some kind of saving grace, but the name of the pet shop is the only on I can remember, and they literally explain that film.
Nine Lives is obviously a car crash of a film, but just not in a hugely entertaining and laughable way, just a boring and grating way. I’m obligated to give it at least a 1 because they did successfully record and release a film.