Dr. Dolittle 2
Directed by Steve Carr
Review by Matt Heffernan <email@example.com>
I think I'll keep the review for Dr. Dolittle 2 as short as its exposition. I did not see the previous Eddie Murphy starrer, having only grown up with the both fascinating and disturbing version starring Rex Harrison. A narration by Norm Macdonald, who voices Dolittle's dog, Lucky, puts it succinctly: "He's a doctor and he talks to animals."
Besides his wife (Kristen Wilson) and two daughters (Raven-Symoné and Kyla Pratt), the good doctor has a menagerie at home that includes Lucky, a drunken French monkey (voiced by Philip Proctor) and a new pet: Pepito the Mexican chameleon (Jacob Vargas) who's having trouble "blending". Since the action of the last film, Dolittle has become quite famous for his ability (made possible in the movie with a combination of puppetry and computer-animated mouths superimposed on the animals) within the human population of the San Francisco area, not to mention the local fauna.
His plans on getting away from his celebrity by taking a family vacation to Europe are stopped when he is visited by two messengers from the "Godbeaver": Joey the raccoon (Michael Rapaport) and the Possum (Isaac Hayes). The Brotherhood of Animals Local 534 (they don't know nothin' 'bout no mafia) are concerned about their forest getting clearcut by Joseph Potter's (Jeffery Jones') logging company. To help them save it, Dolittle brings a circus bear (Steve Zahn) to the forest so that it can mate with one of the last of its species in the wild (Lisa Kudrow), thereby giving the courts an environmental reason for saving the forest.
This legal contrivance is necessary to get Eddie Murphy into the woods with a talking bear. That's what the film is basically about, and in that context it works quite well. The first half of the film is especially funny, and then the jokes wear on, but never become unbearable (if you'll forgive the pun). In my book, any film that properly uses the comic styles of Macdonald and Zahn, and features another solid performance by Murphy, is a welcome addition to the summer.
Basically, kids should love it, and adults should tolerate it, and even enjoy its highlights.
For more information, go to the Internet Movie Database:
Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001)
Video Pick of the Week
Guide to Star Ratings
Review © 2001 Matt Heffernan