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Action-packed Garfield movie bridges generation gap

Action-packed Garfield movie bridges generation gap


From left, Vic (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson), Garfield (Chris Pratt), Odie (Harvey Guilln), and Otto (Ving Rhames) as Garfield. (DNEG Animation/Sony Pictures Entertainment/TNS)

By Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service

Since 1978, cartoonist Jim Davis has explored the daily dramas of pet ownership through the daily struggles of beleaguered Jon Arbuckle, his enthusiastic dog Odie, and the titular tubby orange tabby, Garfield. If the comic strip (the most widely distributed in the world) is the weekly sitcom version of their story, then The Garfield Movie, the latest effort to bring Garfield to the big screen, is an oversized action-adventure film, filled with references and comparisons to Tom Cruise.

These Cruise-inspired Easter eggs aren't necessarily laid for kids, but for the adults who accompanied them to the theater, like when the score references Mission: Impossible while an ox named Otto, voiced by Ving Rhames ( who plays cruise technician Luther in the action franchise), outlines the plan for a heist. Later, a triumphant climax featuring airborne food-delivery drones offers the chance to reprise a bit of the Top Gun theme as Garfield (Chris Pratt) brags about doing his own stunts, just like Tom Cruise.

The sentence emphasizes a little too much that this is the great and exciting version of Garfield, and not a study of domestic life à la Jeanne Dielman. In fact, after a quick framing that shows us Garfield's heartbreaking story as a hungry stray kitten who meets Jon at an Italian restaurant, the film quickly cuts through a quick montage of our favorite Garfield tropes: He loves lasagna , hates Mondays, the torments. Jon and manipulates Odie.

We know him, we love him. Garfield's unique characteristics have been printed on coffee mugs for years and, once that's settled, a high-stakes, highly contrived plot. Garfield and Odie are kidnapped by a pair of rogue puppies, Nolan (Bowen Yang) and Roland (Brett Goldstein), who work for a Persian cat named Jinx (Hannah Waddingham). She wants them to collaborate with Garfield's ungodly father Vic (Samuel L. Jackson) on a milk heist to get revenge for the time she spent in the pound after a scheme she and Vic set up .




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