‘Dolittle’ Review: Worst Movie Of The Year. Maybe Even The Decade
Hollywood makes bad movies all the time, but how we perceive what’s “bad” varies from person to person. However, every once in a while a movie comes along that’s so bad, you can’t help but wonder what everyone was smoking when they created the film. I would say that 2017’s The Snowman would be the perfect example, but even that film has one redeeming quality, where as Dolittle does not. The newest adaption to Hugh Lofting’s creation of a physician who can speak with animals, stars Robert Downey Jr. in his first film since Avengers: Endgame, and it puts him on a ship filled with CGI animals. Clearly, no expense has been spared to make this film, but that doesn’t help the fact that it’s a terrible movie.
The good doctor this time is introduced as a bearded hermit, wallowing in his sorrows over the passing of his wife, Lily (Kasia Smutniak). He’s rejected humanity and relies on his animals. We learn all of this thanks to Polly the parrot (Emma Thompson), who’s voiceover narration takes away from any kind of genuine storytelling to continue pushing the movie forward.
What passes as plot in this dumpster fire is when Lady Rose (Carmel Laniado), an emissary to a young Queen Victoria (Jessie Buckley), alerts the good doctor that the queen is dying from a mysterious illness. The queen believes that only he can save her, and Dolittle couldn’t care less. It’s only when the possibility that his animals may lose their sanctuary if the queen dies that he jumps into action.
Along with a menagerie of animals at his side, Dolittle sets off to save the queen by heading to an exotic island ruled by King Rassouli (Antonio Banderas). He blames Dolittle for his daughter’s death, so Dolittle sicks a tiger on him (voiced by Ralph Fiennes). The gang would then travel further into the island to find a mythic tree that contains fruit that will heal the queen. Upon arrival, there’s a dragon guarding the tree (because, why not) and the good doctor ends up pulling a bagpipe from its butt (because, why not).
Rumors around this film having production issues as well as expensive reshoots could be the reason why this film is so terrible, or it could just be because of the terrible, lazy writing behind it. Whatever the reason, they should’ve never made this movie.