Grade: C…. It is not an A, Dolittle does a decent job of entertaining the children.
Going into Dolittle, I had very low expectations. The previews painted it as a cheesy movie targeting kids. Surprisingly, I must admit that I did enjoy my time with Dolittle.
Back in 1998, Eddie Murphy took on the iconic role in “Dr. Dolittle.” Murphy’s version was more of a comedy and I remember it being somewhat funny. Now in 2020, Robert Downey Jr. steps into the vet coat and brings a more serious tone along for the hour and forty-one minute adventure. Sure, there are comedy bits peppered throughout the movie, but they are mostly delivered by lukewarm one-liners delivered by the various animals. That being said, a few of them managed to get a chuckle out of me. Jason Mantzoukas plays James the Dragonfly and he has a couple funny lines. While the animals are there to bring the funny, Dolittle is constantly on screen instilling messages of hope and courage to his animal crew.
Every main animal represented a different personality. For example, Chee-Chee the gorilla (voiced by Rami Malek) was afraid of nearly everything he encountered, but Dolittle challenges him to overcome his fears.
The plot in Dolittle was pretty simple. As many are familiar with, Doctor Dolittle has the power to communicate with animals and he runs an animal hospital out of his house with his wife, Lily. When Lily passes away on an adventure, he closes up shop and becomes a recluse to the world. One day, a boy shows up at his window asking Dolittle for his help with a squirrel he accidentally shot on a hunting outing with his brother and father. The boy, Tommy Stubbins, is not an avid hunter like his family and is sympathetic towards animals. Simultaneously, a girl who works for the Queen of England requests Dolittle’s assistance for the poisoned Queen. The rare antidote for the poison is one of the reasons for the adventure. All of the animals try to help Dolittle save the Queen in time.
The way the story is presented in the movie is somewhat of a mess, but it gets the job done.
Dolittle is very CGI heavy, but it is quite well done. Dolittle is a treat for the eyes. Colors pop all around you during some gorgeous floral and scenic shots. Viewing it on an IMAX screen was quite breathtaking at times. The sound was well done as well. Despite Downey Jr.’s silly accent that he puts on, you can clearly understand every word he says.
Dolittle is, first and foremost, a kids movie. If you have a youngster to take to the movies, Dolittle will easily put a smile on their face.