The CATS Movie Review: Is It Worth Watching?


Erin Scholtus and Serena Stern

If you had been on any sort of social media when the Cats trailer came out, you undoubtedly saw the memes poking fun at the overall look of the picture. But the question everyone seems to be asking is, “Is Cats really that bad?” 

We found ourselves asking the same question, so we travelled to the Marcus theaters of Menomonee Falls. Naturally, we were excited because we got popcorn and there were dreamlounger seats. As the previews played, we settled in and prepared to see if Cats really was that bad.  

Serena’s review: I personally have a lot of questions about the production process of this movie. For example: How was the set designed? Was it animated or was it real? Did the actors wear cat suits or was that animated too? I also have a lot of questions about the movie itself. First of all, the world that the cats live in: Are the cats the dominant creatures? In the beginning, the main cat is dropped off in the alley in a bag by someone whose face we cannot see. It would make sense for that someone to be a human, but humans are not seen in the movie again. In one of the songs, the family is mentioned, but all the buildings seen in the scenery seem to be created for cats (For example: there is a Milk Bar). 

There was also the matter of the way the cats interacted with each other. I’ve obviously seen the way real cats act towards each other, and this was not it. I feel like they really tried to emulate the way cats move, but being humans, they missed the mark and the movements came off as creepy. The big thing for most people was the way the cats themselves looked. I kind of agree. The entire body except for the hands, feet, and face was cat. This just kind of made me uncomfortable throughout the entire thing. This combined with the movements just made the whole design of the cats kind of hard to get past. 

That said, not everything was bad about the movie. The dancing was amazing. The audience could tell that the numbers were very well rehearsed. There was one scene where one of the cats tap danced and it quite frankly blew me away. The actor playing this cat was perfect. The other thing was Jennifer Hudson. In my opinion, this was a bad casting choice. She outshined every other actor in the film. Every single thing she did made me want to get up and cheer. Her songs, especially her performance of Memory, gave me chills. In conclusion, I would give this movie two out of five stars because it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting and the cast and performances were really great, however the whole look of the cats was really hard to get past. 

Erin’s review: I did not like cats at all. The only thing the movie had was their star studded cast and even then they didn’t know how to fit these stars to their advantage. One example was Taylor Swift, and she was only in one part of a scene and had one song. Her character felt incomplete and that it was thrown in so they could have Taylor Swift in the movie. In the movie, they cast Sir Ian McKellen as Gus the theater cat. This was by far the worst role that was not meant for him, it did not fit him at all and made his scenes feeling awkward. Even though these roles were not meant for these actors one was. That was Jennifer Hudson. She was the highlight of the movie. Her voice and amazing acting in the movie was so much superior to the others, her acting was so believable and really touched me so that every time she came on I got chills. I feel like she was underrated in the movie and even though she had a larger part, she should have had more screen time.

One of my biggest pet peeves of this movie was the fact that they never gave any backstory or explanation of anything. They would say the cat’s name once and then never say it again, causing difficulty in telling who was who. The main cat (I think her name was Victoria or something like that) only had one detail and that she was abandoned by her owner. She never explained why and we had no backstory to any other cat. Even the antagonist, who was played by Idris Elba, had no motivation other than he wanted a new life? It never explained why Jennifer Hudson’s character followed him or Taylor Swift’s either. Why did they do it if they knew it wasn’t going to end well for them? It makes me mad that the directors didn’t think of giving anyone besides the three cats backgrounds. 

One of the most off putting parts of the movie is the horrible CGI work. The  actors look like cats but have a lot of human like features that make it absolutely horrifying. They looked like they wore a bodysuit that had the pattern of hair, they had the cat ears and tail. The worst part was that they still had a human face, hands, and feet. They had the mannerisms and movements like actual cats but all I could see were people. They should of made them look like cats without the CGI like in the musical by using makeup. Throughout the movie all I could think of were their hands, it was so distracting.

Because of this horrible movie I can never look at these stars the same way as before, they should’ve kept CATS a musical and adapted another musical. In conclusion I do give this movie 1.5 stars out of 5 due to Jennifer Hudson being the best thing I have seen in a while but the movie giving me nightmares.