I’ve been trying to rewrite this intro for the better for part 10 minutes just trying to succinctly sum up my thoughts on the Cats trailer now that it’s here, but I could never find a way that accurately summed up my feelings for it. There’s a lot I can discuss about it, but I think the best thing to do is to just say I’m sorry. I’m sorry that the theatre community, myself included, allowed Tom Hooper to make a Cats movie and no one once thought that giving everyone CG fur was a bad idea.
Look, it’s one thing to hear reports about CG fur and going to cat school, but it’s an entirely other thing to actually see it in action. There’s no two ways about it; the CGI looks nightmare inducing. The actors look both over designed and under-designed at the same time. All of the actors look like they had their faces plastered onto a CGI body that moves so stiffly and unnaturally, and yes I know they’re supposed to move and behave like cats but the final product just looks bad, plain and simple.
With the trailer not even being out for 24 hours, people are already calling it weird, nightmarish, and jarring to watch, with Twitter having an absolute field day with this one. What makes this even more miserable is that you can tell how it’s all being taken so damn seriously. At least with the original musical, as tacky as it is, most productions at least play the odd premise for some laughs. There’s inherent humor in watching a bunch of humans pretend to be cats in a musical that even theatre fans can’t help but snicker at from time to time. But from the looks of the movie, everything is framed as being not just art, but ART. Every cut looks BIG and GRAND and doesn’t have an ounce of humor except for Rebel Wilson mugging it up as Rebel Wilson, except she’s a cat. Without even a smidgen of irony, the trailer simply comes across as being tone-deaf. Also cat breasts.
Sure, Jennifer Hudson’s singing in the trailer sounds nice, but if you wanted to hear a rendition of “Memory” you can listen to any of the 50 million people that have covered it. You go to a movie to watch actors on screen, that’s why this is a visual medium, yet watching the trailer for Cats is just embarrassing. I shouldn’t feel embarrassed for watching a trailer and it’s almost certainly going to be a divisive movies when it releases because of it.
Cats will haunt your dreams December 20, 2019.