We all knew that Cats was going to be a flaming piece of glitter and kitty-litter covered shit from the moment that first trailer appeared. And according to critics, it is! It currently has 18% on Rotten Tomatoes, which means that’s your cue to prepare to drop an edible into your mouth to experience Cats at 100%. Congratulations to the concession stands at every movie theater, because they’re going to break records from the crowds (aka like two people at each theater) who will buy up every snack available while completely stoned. Even though there’s zero Jason Derulo dick print in Cats, the critics are really laying into it.
Variety compiled a bunch of reviews for our reading pleasure and it truly is. I’ll let them speak for themselves:
Variety’s Peter Debruge: “Tom Hooper’s outlandishly tacky interpretation seems destined to become one of those once-in-a-blue-moon embarrassments that mars the résumés of great actors (poor Idris Elba, already scarred enough as the villainous Macavity) and trips up the careers of promising newcomers (like ballerina Francesca Hayward, whose wide-eyed, mouth-agape Victoria displays one expression for the entire movie)… Cats hurts the eyes and, yes, the ears, as nearly all the musical numbers, including “Memory,” have been twisted into campy, awards-grubbing cameos for big-name stars in bad-CG cat drag.”
Entertainment Weekly’s Leah Greenblatt: “The plot, essentially, could be written on a slip of blotter acid: A scampering throng of spandex-y, alley-stalking strays assemble in the late-night streets of London for a sort of tomcat talent show, deciding which among them they will ritually murder–sorry, “send to the Heaviside layer”–by dawn.”
Vox’s Alissa Wilkinson: “I left without any idea of what I thought, only that I was exhilarated and baffled and kind of impressed, all at once. I had no idea what to say, only observations and questions written in my notebook, many of which conflict with one another.”
Slate’s Marissa Martinelli: “Just when you think you’ve reasonably settled into the uncanny valley, Idris Elba’s coat comes off and you’re sucked even deeper into a void of horny confusion.”
The New York Times’ Manohla Dargis: “A doctoral thesis could be written on how this misfire sputtered into existence, though there’s nothing new about the movies’ energetic embrace of bad taste.”
If you’re going to read any of those in full, my recommendation would be the one at Vox. I mean, the review ends with this:
“It’s literally incredible. I hope I never see it again.”
So now I have to watch. Catch me hate-watching this stoned out of my ass this weekend while cackling and bothering some child and their parent whose been side-eyeing me since I walked in because I smell “lightly” of weed. To be honest, these bad reviews are better marketing than any of those ads for furryism.