Dr. Doo-doo-little, too late

Dr. Doolittle 2
Starring Eddie Murphy. Directed by Steve Carr.
Rated 1.0

A dancing bear that sings Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive? Egads.

In the past, I have come across some children’s flicks so excruciatingly awful that sometimes I’m tempted to just go ahead and get a vasectomy, to eliminate the possibility of ever again being obligated by potential offspring to see such wretched soul-suckers. Thanks to Dr. Doolittle 2, I no longer have that option—a half-hour into this chunder-headed mess, I could feel my sperm gather together, sever the vas deferens, and then commit ritualistic suicide with a million tiny howls of existential anguish.

Seemingly written by a group of fourth-graders as a class project, this unwarranted sequel sets up the man-who-can-talk-to-the-animals as a born-again tree-hugger, coerced by a forest full of smack-talkin’ trapper-bait into helping to take on an evil lumber company that is threatening to clear-cut their habitat. In order to pull this off, the good doctor needs to relocate a circus bear to the woods and set it up with the last native she-bear of the species, in order to pump out the cubs and give the area protected status.

Unfortunately, the boy bear is such a woozy dork that the doctor finds himself also called upon to teach it in the ways d’amour.

It was so truly depressing seeing one of the funniest men in film reduced to playing straight man (and pimp-daddy) to a flatulent bear that I was tempted to crawl beneath my seat and curl into fetal position. Granted, this is a movie exclusively geared toward the 5 and under crowd, but does that audience drive to the mall, pay for the tickets and sit by themselves in the darkened theater? Nope. While Shrek proves that a children’s film can be satisfying for any age group, Doo-2 only proves that Murphy is funny (in other movies) and that talking rodents are not (unless you’re one of those folks who finds those damned anthropomorphized chimps on TBS—the ones used to parody popular movies—to be the height of hilarity. If so, have I got the screen gem of the year for you).

I’m as green as the next person. But toward the end of Doo-2, I found myself fostering fantasies of a live-action recreation of the forest fire scene from Bambi sweeping through and sterilizing this whole wretched exercise.