So he's back again. Do we care? Well sort of.What kids like is very different to what parents would like kids to like. Kids are into all manner of nasty things - Violent, scheming things. Parents on the other hand would prefer their kids to be into nice things. In movies, kids want to see things get blown up - slowly - whereas their parents would prefer to them to see cute animals doing strangely human things.
Unfortunately Dr. Dolittle falls into the latter category.
Dolittle (Murphy), now an established wacko doc who talks to the animals doesn't talk to his kids. His animal practice is putting his family low down on the priority list. He realises this so when a mission to save a nature reserve pops up, he takes his family with him. His daughter, Charisse (Raven - Symone), is particularly troublesome, but that's because she's maturing into something she's not quite comfortable with.
This is a mildly amusing, inoffensive family film (I so hate that term) that will provide adequate attention diversion for the kids when the parents are sick of entertaining the children themselves and want to escape to a crack house during the school holidays.
Most of what's appealing in the film is down to Murphy. His spin on Dolittle is an even mix of Mouthy Murphy and Nerdy Doc Dad Murphy. He still has great timing and delivery and does his best with the character.
I like Murphy. The multiple role thing which he has done in a number of films was really well done and damn funny. It's just a shame that he can't pick a movie to save his life. Beverly Hills Cop 3? I mean really.
Raven - Symone - all grown up (well as much as 16 year old can be) from her days as the grand daughter to Bill Cosby in his show from the 80s/90s - is one of Murphy's main foils. She's all teen attitude and points out to us that Murphy is getting old.
DR2's animals are a mix of effects, puppetry and real animals and quite frankly it's virtually impossible to tell them apart. Yes, yes I know they talk and stuff, but apart from that they look completely real. That's partly to do with the special effects - which is a given these days - and partly to do with Carr's direction as he doesn't allow the viewer any chance to pick holes in the allusion. It's thoughtfully and well done.
The doctor's wife, Lisa, what was with her changing hair length? It goes from long to short to long again. What's with that?
The story itself though is all very hit and miss. With the box office success of the original Dolittle Murphy seems to have a cash cow on his hands. While we miss the foul mouthed upstart trouble-maker at least Murphy seems to still be able to make the masses laugh occasionally, and being a comedian, I guess that's what we should expect from the guy.The kids will probably go for it. The animals bits are expertly done. Not a film to rush out to see unless you want to get rid of the kids for an hour and a half. The parents will have more fun at the crack house.