Starring: Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Garner, Robbie Amell, Christopher Walken, Cheryl Hines, Mark Consuelos, Malina Weissman
Directed By: Barry Sonnenfeld
Plot: Tom Brand (Spacey) is a self centered CEO on his second wife (Garner) and trying to balance his life with work and their daughter (Weissman). Work usually wins. His son (Amell) from his first marriage, works for the company. On his daughter’s birthday Tom caves in and goes to buy her a cat from a shady cat salesman (Walken), but work gets in the way, and he finds himself cursed to live as a cat. Her cat. Tom is running on borrowed time, and if he doesn’t figure out how to fix his family, he’ll be stuck as a cat forever.
What Works: They used to make movies like this all the time, and now they don’t. It’s easy to see a movie like Nine Lives and bash it instantly. I get it. 5.2 on IMDB, 11% on Rotten Tomatoes. But I actually enjoyed it, and if I had kids, I’d enjoy watching this with them. Of course it’s silly. It’s a kids movie. It only needs to really be marginally entertaining. Sure, there are really great kids films that are also amazing experiences for adults (like Wall-E or Up), but this is a passable kids film that is fairly entertaining for adults too. It’s the next tier down. You could be stuck watching something like The Wild Life or Ice Age Collision Course, but at least you can watch Nine Lives. I thought the cast did OK. Non of them were too bad.
What Doesn’t Work: It’s really silly sometimes. Kids might like the silly humor, but adults will find it grating. Still, like I said, there are much worse options out there. Spacey and Garner have ZERO chemistry, but they also share very little screentime. She honestly has more chemistry with him as a cat than as a human.
Final Word: It’s the kind of kids film you don’t need to see in theatres, but is a perfectly fine choice for at home viewing. It’s under 90 minutes too, so it’s not like you’ll suffer for too long. Sometimes critics forget that not every film was made for them.
Final Grade: B-