Movie Review: Dolittle (2019)

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Summary: A physician discovers that he can talk to animals.
Pros:
The Actors/Voice Acting. Most of the characters are CGI animals with only a few humans we see or interact with throughout the film. But overall, the voice acting is really good. 
  • Robert Downey Jr. as Dr. John Dolittle. He is a veterinarian who has the ability to speak to animals. I think RDJ is great and he’s always fun to watch. Whatever accent he was doing, I thought was a little weird, I needed subtitles and I’m usually pretty good with accents. BUT he was fun to watch, I liked his humor and the faces he made and he had great chemistry with the CGI animals. He also had pretty good chemistry with Harry Collet as Stubbins. His character starts out as a recluse when we see him, and he’s very much an oddball and he does things that make sense for who he is. I thought all of that was fine. I mean, he was fine. I think he was a great choice, I just wish he had better material. 
  • Antonio Banderas as Rassouli. I’ve always loved Antonio Banderas, it was great seeing him. His character should have been more involved. He would have been really cool to see more throughout the film. But he was great. 
  • Michael Sheen as Dr. Blair Müdfly. He is an old schoolmate and rival of Dolittle. I find Michael Sheen really funny and he’s a great actor. His character is a trip and over the top which I guess worked for this film. 
  • Harry Collett as Tommy Stubbins. He is Dolittle’s self-appointed apprentice. He grew up in a family of hunters but can’t fit in because he doesn’t want to harm animals. I guess he was needed so RDJ isn’t working off of CGI animals the entire time, and he was okay. I didn’t mind him. He was cute. 
  • Emma Thompson as Polynesia. She is a wise and headstrong macaw and Dolittle’s most trusted advisor. She is his right hand and she often puts him in his place. Honestly, Emma Thompson’s voice is always perfect lol and I think she fits this sort of role so well. She even comes to the rescue a few times. Poly ran the show lol. 
  • Rami Malek as Chee-Chee. He is an anxious but noble gorilla. I love Rami Malek, he can literally do no wrong for me. I knew his voice as soon as he started speaking lol. I liked his character because he has the potential to be strong but he’s always worried he’ll mess something up. I think he was a captive at some point which I think lends itself to that. I wish it was talked about more since he was a major character. But while I know his voice, he almost didn’t sound like himself lol. 
  • John Cena as Yoshi. He is an upbeat polar bear who wears a bashlyk. He doesn’t like the cold, which is his thing. I liked him too. He was cool and I liked his chemistry with Kumail Nanjiani’s ostrich character. He came through in a lot of intense moments and we got some funny physical comedy with him as well. Polar bears are huge. 
  • Kumail Nanjiani as Plimpton. He is a cynical and fussy but well-meaning ostrich who wears stockings and quarrels with Yoshi. I liked him a lot lol, I didn’t recognize his voice, but I’m not that familiar with him yet to know his voice off jump. But I liked the friendly rivalry he had with John Cena’s polar bear. 
  • Octavia Spencer as Dab-Dab. She is an enthusiastic and crazy duck with a wooden leg and she’s pretty great. She has some great lines. 
  • Tom Holland as Jip. He is a loyal dog who wears glasses and I wish we got to see more of him. He seemed like he was Dolittle’s left hand which was nice to see him be trusted as was but I feel like he should have been human though. 
  • Craig Robinson as Kevin. He’s always funny so him playing a crazy squirrel who throughout the movie has a vendetta against humans, because he was shot (by accident) is probably the highlight of the jokes. 
  • Ralph Fiennes as Barry. He is a ferocious tiger with gold-tipped fangs who has a past with Dolittle. This should have been explored more and it wasn’t, the potential was amazing! So much could have been done here. Ralph Fiennes has a great voice so there’s that. 
  • Selena Gomez as Betsy. She is a friendly giraffe who is hardly in this movie and I really didn’t recognize her voice lol. But I think she does great with voice overs. 
  • Marion Cotillard as Tutu. She is hardly in this movie lol, but I love her voice. She’s a French fox who is friends with Betsy.
  • Jason Mantzoukas as James. He is a wisecracking dragonfly who meets Dolittle in a prison cell from which he helps him escape. I find this actor funny most times and his delivery is great. His moments on screen were pretty funny. 
It’s Entertaining/Cute. This movie is really cute and entertaining. I had a good time. I didn’t hate it while I watched it. The animals were cute, I thought the voice acting was really good and oddly enough RDJ had great chemistry with CGI animals lol. It has a feeling there should be a moment of wonder and awe and those instances are there, it just doesn’t make it. I guess that turned negative but I can’t help but to say there’s so much potential but clearly something wrong happened behind the scenes. I just… *sighs* I had a good time, but I feel like it might have been because I saw it with my mom. 
Tons of Potential. It’s really annoying how much potential this movie has! Sure, it’s not going to be like Rex Harrison’s film or Eddie Murphy’s but I feel that it could have been a bit more… serious. Not that it has to be gritty or that it can’t be silly, but I felt like there was this filter over it that it didn’t need. I really wanted the story to involve the mystery woman we learn about in the opening. T
The CGI Animals. I think overall, it was done really well. Before the animals started talking, I’m sure they used real animals because once they started talking, it was like this weird shift of reality to animation. It’s really obvious. But outside of that, I thought it was done really well. It’s not like photorealistic or anything but in terms of having their mouths actually move and moving around without being too crazy.
Cons:
Needed a Better Adventure. This adventure is super pedestrian and something we’ve seen fifty million times and while I had a good time, I thought it should have been something else. We learn something about a woman and she plays a large role even though we rarely see her, but I think she should have been the adventure. Finding her, finding out she’s a villain or something else that would have been more interesting. But I guess because it’s geared towards kids, that might have been “too complicated” but ya know, kids are smart. Just saying. 
For Kids. It has this “for kids” feel to it and I think that’s a problem I had throughout. It feels very pedestrian and almost like my hand is being held. I mean, I guess I wasn’t the audience for the film, but I didn’t think it would be like that exactly. If you put it on for your 3-7 year old, they could enjoy it without a problem because of the funny polar bear and ostrich and the jokes from the squirrel and duck. I just wish studios would make movies like this more “mature” because younger kids can clearly watch movies that may be geared towards them but are smarter. I mean, have you seen Coco? Or Zootopia? Sheesh. I’m sick of fart jokes! Maybe it’s funny once but it’s not funny anymore times after that. It’s stupid. 
Nitpick: Narration. This is minor but I say this all the time, I REALLY DISLIKE NARRATION. It’s a cutesy story so of COURSE there is friggin narration. UUGGGHHH!! Emma Thompson’s parrot Poly is narrating the story since she’s Dolittle’s right hand. There’s really cute animation at the beginning that tells us up to the point of the movie start and I don’t think she needed to narrate. I actually wished it was just music and animation. It was clear enough to understand and I think it would have made more of an impact, especially if they went with my idea of the mystery woman being a villain or misunderstood or something later. *sighs*
Overall, I saw this movie with my mom and we had a good time. She loves RDJ and I really like him as well and he’s always fun to watch. We laughed a lot together and I think there is a lot to like about it. It’s bright, it has a beautiful look to it, the CGI animation is really good for the most part on the animals, except that dragon. I didn’t think that was as good as it could have been. The voice acting is good and this group seemed to fit well together. There was a ton of potential in the film and it’s a good time. If a family goes to see it, especially if they have younger kids, they’ll most likely have a great time. Now, I do think the CGI in some places wasn’t so great as I said before lol. It’s for kids and it really feels like that when I think it shouldn’t feel like a kids movie. I also think the adventure was lame. I get it and it had some stakes… I guess but it was too silly. In the end, sure, it’s okay. I had fun.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars. 
Have you seen Dolittle? What are your thoughts on it? RDJ has played Sherlock Holmes and now Dr. Dolittle, what classic character would you like to see him take on? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below!