“Dolittle”: a bit too rough

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Robert Downey Jr. appropriates the character of the veterinarian speaking to animals Dr. Dolittle in this feature film which rakes so wide that it becomes confused.

The idea is enough to seduce families in this gray and cold January. Robert Downey Jr. is the perfect actor to play Dolittle, a non-conformist veterinarian who can speak to animals.

In this new iteration realized by Stephen Gaghan (“Syriana”) and scripted by the latter with the help of the tandem formed by Dan Gregor and Doug Mand (“Most Likely to Murder”), Dolittle does not recover from the death of a woman , Lily (Kasia Smutniak). He now lives in seclusion in his mansion given to him by Queen Victoria (Jessie Buckley) as a thank you for his good and loyal service.

But the young Stubbins (Harry Collett) one day arrives at his property, accompanied by chance by Lady Rose (Carmel Laniado). The first seeks medical treatment for a squirrel he accidentally injured while the second seeks medical attention from the doctor, the queen being seriously ill. It turns out that the remedy necessary for the sovereign is the fruit of an unknown tree growing only on a mysterious island.

So here are Dolittle, Stubbins and several animals (including Polynesia the parrot voiced by Emma Thompson, Chee-Chee the fearful gorilla whose voice is provided by Rami Malek and Yoshi the chilly polar bear in the voice of John Cena, to name a few ‘them) left for the island of Rassoulim (Antonio Banderas), head of pirates and father of Lily.

Quickly, from a charming fantasy film, “Dolittle” turns into an adventure film tending to resemble family oriented productions such as the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise. Obviously, this must be seen as a desire by producers (including Team Downey, the company of Robert Downey Jr. and his wife, Susan) to widen their target clientele as much as possible.

But the effect is not as successful as one might imagine. The different stages of Dolittle’s journey are all about changes in mood and tone that nothing connects to each other. Some scenes, in particular, have the effect of a hair on the soup, such as this fight with a neurasthenic tiger or the arrival of an overly greedy dragon.

The animals, on the other hand, are splendidly recruited by computer and children over six years old – the adventures could be complex for the youngest – will come out happy with the experience, but unfortunately not transported.

Note: 3 sur 5

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