Dr Dolittle 2

"OK"

Dr Dolittle 2 Review


"Dr. Dolittle 2" is one of those comedy sequels slapped together by a lazy screenwriter who thinks as long he's scattered a significant number of good laughs here and there, the clumsy carelessness of the mechanical and pandering plot should be forgiven.

It is consistently funny and occasionally downright hilarious, thanks entirely to its ample supply of wisecracking critters. But the story needs a lame voice-over as a crutch to get from Point A to Point B (sample: "...and so the big day finally came...") and the plot lurches forward on a gimmick and a prayer. Director Steve Carr ("Next Friday") seems to assume his young target audience isn't bright enough to notice such things and that their parents will excuse him with the mantra "it's just a kid's movie."

The gimmicky plot concerns Dr. Dolittle (Eddie Murphy reprising his 1998 role), the San Francisco physician who can talk to the animals, trying to get two endangered-species bears to mate because their proliferation will legally block a fiendish lumber company from clear-cutting their Northern California forest home. (The gimmick also serves as a heavy-handed, politically correct sermon, seemingly obligatory in half-baked kiddie flicks.)

All the animals in the forest are counting on him, but there's a problem with his mating pair: One is a picky forest female (with Lisa Kudrow's voice) and the other is a whiny and inept circus-trained male (Steve Zahn, "Out of Sight," "Saving Silverman") who has lived his whole life in show biz and is none too keen on all this primitive fishing, foraging and hibernating stuff.

Zahn is a riot in voicing Archie the bear, who steals the movie as Dolittle fights an uphill battle trying to turn him into the kind of Alpha male who could win the heart of the female. But most of the movie's laughs come from incidental asides by the movie's animal stars, like Pepito the chameleon (Jacob Vargas) who has lost his color-changing ability, and Joey the raccoon (Michael Rapaport) who is a flunky for a mammal Mafioso -- a beaver with a New Jersey accent.

Norm MacDonald returns as the voice of Lucky, the cynical stray dog from the "Dr. Dolittle" remake. He also provides the aforementioned lame voiceover, which becomes quickly grating and helps demonstrate how a waggish talking menagerie isn't enough to carry a movie.

Of course, "Dr. Dolittle 2" has Eddie Murphy going for it as well, and he isn't about to be upstaged by voices and the snappy CGI effects that give his co-stars moving mouths and expressive faces. He gets in his fair share of comedy moments, especially when butting heads with his 16-year-old daughter (Raven-Symone) in an otherwise flimsy subplot that pits over-protective father against stereotypically hip-hoppy new boyfriend (teen rapper Lil' Zane).

Without question, "Dolittle 2" does entertain, but it just doesn't have enough heart and hardiness to let slide its deficiencies, like Murphy's first "Dr. Dolittle" picture did. The comedy in this outing is propped up by perfunctory exposition and trite pre-fabricated plot obstacles that wouldn't have been necessary if screenwriter Larry Levin (who co-wrote the '98 picture) had put more effort into his work.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 87 mins

In Theaters: Friday 22nd June 2001

Box Office USA: $111.5M

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Production compaines: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 42%
Fresh: 44 Rotten: 62

IMDB: 4.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Dr. John Dolittle, as Lisa Dolittle, Raven-Symoné as Charisse Dolittle, as Maya Dolittle, as Girl Bear Cub, John DiMaggio as Seeing Eye Dog / Wassup Fish / Mouse, as Eugene Wilson, Denise Dowse as Secretary, as Eldon

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Get Back Movie Review

Get Back Movie Review

Roger Appleton's documentary 'Get Back' looks into the music scene that come out of Liverpool....

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Advertisement
Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.