[2020 is finally over but before we send it off to the trash heap it deserves to be in, it’s time for the third annual Golden Cages, Flixist’s extremely coveted prize! Each year the Flixist staff gets together to vote on the best and worst films of the year and gives you lovely readers our true and honest thoughts. Plus since there are no other awards shows this winter (suck it Academy!) we’re now the defacto voice of truth in the film industry. So read on dear viewer and see which films win our lovely little award!]
Even in a pandemic, January will still be January. A month known for giving us some of the worst underwhelming and unimpressive films around, January is just a general void of quality. With that in mind, Dolittle still manages to stand out from the crowd for just how uniquely awful it is. Making it an easy contender for Golden Cages winner of Worst Picture.
Let’s just start off by saying that the Dolittle franchise itself is cursed. From a medicore family comedy franchise in the early 2000s to the infamous 1967 film that also entirely killed the movie musical alongside Hello, Dolly!, nearly killed Fox, had an absurd amount of merchandise that never sold, and was the definition of a box office bomb, the character never worked in a film. Yet somehow, Dolittle surpasses them in just how bad its final product ended up being. It could be the ridiculous Robert Downey Jr. performance with an equally ridiculous Welsh(?) accent, one that was dubbed over in numerous spots throughout the film. It could be the middling adventure that would be right at home in the mid 90s in all of the worst ways. Dodgy CG can also help lower the bar of quality.
But if you had to twist my arms on why Dolittle fails so royally, it would probably be how no one cared while making it. Say what you will about our 2019 winner Cats, but there was at least a sense of passion behind it. The people making it genuinely wanted to do right by the source material, it all just went astronomically wrong in every direction. But there was no real joy or excitement in the film. It felt stale and that no one wanted to be there, including the voice actors who played the animals that we’re even physically there.
Despite being one of the most financially successful movies of 2020, the film still bombed hard at the box office, losing Universal upwards of $100 million. Why Universal decided to pump so much money into this project is beyond me and why they decided to amass an unnecessary amount of talented actors for such a monotonous and empty story just proves that most major studios have no idea what they’re doing when it comes to family fare. Dolittle was a joke when it released last January and over a year later, after taking winning Worst Picture at our Golden Cages, it is still a joke.