Robert Downey Jr.‘s first post-MCU film is Dolittle, a remake of Dr. Dolittle that’s undergone heavy reshoots and seems about as ill-advised as the 1960s adaptation of this same story. In lieu of a new trailer, we instead have a Dolittle auditions video, which features Downey acting alongside some questionable-looking computer-animated animals. Nothing here looks very convincing, which is all the more disheartening when you realize this movie apparently cost $175 million to make.
In the 1960s, Hollywood spent a fortune on a Dr. Dolittle movie. The film was meant to be a big rousing musical hit, but suffered numerous setbacks and production woes and eventually ended up flopping at the box office. Since Tinseltown never learns from its mistakes, here we go all over again with Dolittle, another outrageously expensive take on this material.
This new take has Robert Downey Jr. as the doctor who can talk to animals, and it gives the production an excuse to throw a bunch of CGI creatures with celebrity voices at us. We get to meet some of the beasts here, and boy oh boy do they not look very good. To be fair, this isn’t footage from the film itself – it’s just meant to be an amusing little advertisement. Still, if this is how the animals end up looking in the final film…yikes.
That’s not to say Dolittle is doomed. There’s always a chance that the movie will turn out to be perfectly fine. I recall the Eddie Murphy Dr. Dolittle movie being fairly enjoyable, so maybe this film will do the same. I like Downey, and I would love for him to start taking on more and more acting roles now that his Marvel days are done – the only other recent non-MCU credit to his name is the forgettable The Judge.
Dolittle opens January 17.
After losing his wife seven years earlier, the eccentric Dr. John Dolittle (Downey), famed doctor and veterinarian of Queen Victoria’s England, hermits himself away behind the high walls of Dolittle Manor with only his menagerie of exotic animals for company. But when the young queen (Jessie Buckley, Wild Rose) falls gravely ill, a reluctant Dolittle is forced to set sail on an epic adventure to a mythical island in search of a cure, regaining his wit and courage as he crosses old adversaries and discovers wondrous creatures.
The doctor is joined on his quest by a young, self-appointed apprentice (Dunkirk’s Harry Collett) and a raucous coterie of animal friends, including an anxious gorilla (Oscar winner Rami Malek), an enthusiastic but bird-brained duck (Oscar winner Octavia Spencer), a bickering duo of a cynical ostrich (The Big Sick’s Kumail Nanjiani) and an upbeat polar bear (John Cena, Bumblebee) and a headstrong parrot (Oscar winner Emma Thompson), who serves as Dolittle’s most trusted advisor and confidante. The film also stars Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen (The Queen), Oscar winner Jim Broadbent and Carmen Laniado (FX’s A Christmas Carol) and features additional voice performances from Oscar® winner Marion Cotillard, Frances de la Tour, Ralph Fiennes, Selena Gomez, Tom Holland, and Craig Robinson.
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