Review: ‘Cats’

Have we all seen Cats now? Good, let’s recap.

Ian McKellan gives his all as Gus the Theatre Cat.

Ian McKellan gives his all as Gus the Theatre Cat.

It’s finally here—the movie we’ve all been waiting for. Have we all seen it yet? Good. Let’s talk about Cats.

Based on the mysteriously popular Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, which is based on the slightly less-popular collection of poems by T.S. Eliot, director Tom Hooper’s film adaptation lies somewhere between an unfinished mess of wonky CGI and a swirling nightmare of body horror.

There are mice with human faces, cockroaches with human faces … and let’s not forget feline tails that spring erect and vibrate rapidly. The cats slink and roll and leap around digitally, following a set of physics that don’t seem possible in the real world.

It’s a classic tale of man’s hubris—Hooper pushed technology as far as it could go, challenging nature itself. Now humanity is forever cursed with the image of Rebel Wilson unzipping her cat skin to reveal a full set of clothes and even more cat skin.

It’s one of the reasons why Cats—even though it was recently pulled from Oscars contention by Universal Studios—will probably have a longer cultural lifespan than any other movie released in 2019.

Even if there isn’t any semblance of story, or emotional depth or layered social commentary, at the very least there’s Ian McKellan, performing his heart out, lapping up milk with his human tongue.

Long after humans are gone and Earth is consumed by the sun, Cats will still be there, floating in the dark ether beyond space and time.