Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini


Nine Lives (2016)

Nine Lives (2016)
Starring:
Jennifer Garner, Kevin Spacey, Robbie Amell, Christopher Walken, Cheryl Hines, Malina Weissman and Mark Consuelos


Rated: PG thematic elements, language and some rude humor.
Reviewed by: Frank  
Release date: August 5, 2016 Released by: EuropaCorp

The theme in Nine Lives has been used before, perhaps over used.  Kevin Spacey's Tom is working billionaire who wants his new building to be the tallest in North America his FireBrand company is well known as is his sharp management style which crushes creativity and his relationship with his wife (Jennifer Garner) and daughter (Malina Weissman). They are secondary to his business power and his money, but he is about to face change through an unusual process set in motion by a cat. 

Each time this theme reaches the screen we know the main character will change but here the change comes through Christopher Walken's Felix who deals in cats from a shop in a small dark alley in New York.  Tom's workaholic style has produced one former wife (Cheryl Hines) and a son (Robbie Amell) who works for the FireBrand corporation and shares his father's ambition and goal to build the highest building in North America.  Malina Weissman is the eleven year old daughter whose parents are Tom and Laura (Jennifer Garner).  Rebecca the daughter is the cause of the main idea for the Nine Lives, she wants a cat for her birthday.  Having avoided the cat gift for years Tom at the last minute before the birthday party uses his GPS that leads him to a mystical pet store filled with exotic cats played by:  Waffles The Cat, Pudge The Cat, Hamilton The Hipster Cat and Henri le Chat Noir, along with Felix an enigmatic propitiator. 

After purchasing Mr Fuzzypants a rather large tomcat, events on the way to the birthday party place Tom in a coma and his entity inside the cat Mr Fuzzypants.  We all know things will work out in the end after all this is a PG film.  What remains is the comedy which occurs as the cat under the control essence of Tom attempts to deal with being a feline, dealing with folks he doesn't respect, creating havoc during the adjustment and his attempt to change what is about to occur because he is no longer in the corporate picture.  

The most enjoyable segments are the events which Fuzzypants carries out while Tom languishes in a hospital bed in a coma.  Of course everyone who cares about him is concerned, the doctors give him a 50/50 chance of surviving and coming back to life.  But the cat is in full action during Tom's hospital stay.  

Fuzzypants who is Tom finds comfort in spraying in the purse of his first wife, and climbing up and down the building to follow the main characters.  He also is determined to get a good drink of Scotch from his reserve collection and the cat climbs and climbs until he is able to tip that bottle just right to pour a drink into a basin which is accessible for the cat to drink.  He then is primed to carry out even more nasty tricks mixed with attempts to communicate with his wife that he is in the cat. It is also fun to watch him eat cat food for the first time.  

One of the corporate assistants played by Mark Consuelos is not willing to wait for Tom to pass on and begins to sell the corporation, we know from the beginning he is the villain by his dark five o'clock shadow.  Both the cat and Tom's son are committed to stop the sale and keep the dream growing.  

There is enough silly and comic action to fill one half of the film which means there are segments which drag and will not be of interest to kids.  When the cat runs wild this is a solid comedy, when the adults battle for control of the business empire, who cares.  Enjoy the first half of the film and don't expect too much more. 

  Frank Chris Jim Dave Nina Matt Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Nine Lives (2016)  B-      F         C            C- 

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