DOLITTLE – A Review by Cynthia Flores


DOLITTLE – A Review by Cynthia Flores

This is the first film for Robert Downey Jr. since his iconic turn as Ironman in all those comic-book action films.  Dolittle is an interesting choice.  This film is a reimagining of the classic tale of the man who could talk to the animals, Doctor Dolittle (Robert Downey Jr).  It uses an animated opening sequence to set the story up.  It shows Dolittle, the famed doctor and veterinarian of Queen Victoria’s England, shutting himself off from the world after losing his wife (Kasia Smutniak) seven years earlier.  Now he has hidden away behind the high walls of Dolittle manor with only his menagerie of exotic animals for company.  But when the young queen (Jessie Buckley) falls gravely ill, a reluctant Dolittle is forced to set sail on an epic adventure to a mythical island in search of a cure.  The doctor is joined on this quest by a young apprentice, Tommy Stubbins (Harry Collett), and a loud gang of animal friends.  This includes an anxious gorilla (Rami Malek), an enthusiastic duck (Octavia Spencer), an upbeat polar bear (John Cena), and a headstrong parrot (Emma Thompson).  The parrot serving as Dolittle’s most trusted advisor and confidante.  Together they will help Dolittle regain his wit and courage as they cross old adversaries and discover wondrous creatures.

Dolittle is as much fun for the adults to watch as it is for the children.  That’s because of the wickedly funny one-liners the animals deliver.  They go way over the heads of the children and are meant for the adults to giggle about.  There’s even a reference to the film The Godfather done by ants.  The action is not too scary for kids around five and is never brutal.  I did have a problem with Downey’s accent though it’s supposed to be British, for some reason he plays him at times with a thick Welsh accent instead.  It was distracting, to say the least.  Also, I would have liked to see more time setting up Dolittle’s life instead of just jumping from an animated opening right into the story.  That being said, my niece and I still had fun watching this made-for-kids action film.

I give Dolittle a B rating.  It’s fun for the whole family.


Directed by: Stephen Gaghan

Written by: Stephen Gaghan, Dan Gregor, Doug Mand, Thomas Scheped, Hugh Lofting

Rated PG

Selig Rating B

Running Time: 1hr 41min

Family Adventure / Comedy

Wide Release: January 17th

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen, Harry Collett


The Selig Rating Scale:

A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.

B – Good movie

C – OK movie

D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.

F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.

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