Every now and then a film comes along that’s so ridiculous, dumbfounding, and generally questionable that it becomes something that simply has to be seen. In this case, we have what many people are calling the ‘Kevin Spacey cat movie’, which should be enough to get your interest. Add to the mix Christopher Walken as some sort of mystical cat salesman, which let’s face it is the role he was born to play, and you have a film I feel like I couldn’t not watch.
Tom Brand (Kevin Spacey) is a successful businessman, determined to build the tallest building in the northern hemisphere. But, despite his success in the financial world, he’s a failure as a family man. His wife is unhappy, and children from two different mothers both feel equally neglected. When his daughter’s birthday rolls round, he finally accepts that he might have to buy her a cat, an animal he feels strongly against owning. When he goes to buy the cat, the pet shop owner (Christopher Walken) decides to take this opportunity to teach him a lesson about being a good father, by transferring his consciousness into the cat he’s just bought.
So, is this a good film? I can’t really say it is, but it’s a lot better than it had any right to be. There are a few reasons Nine Lives works, and two of those reasons are Kevin Spacey and Christopher Walken. They both have so much charisma, which is obvious even through childish humour and a story that’s been done many times, usually better than it is here.
Yes, there are things about this film that’ll make your eyes roll and your head shake, but it has a strange charm that I simply couldn’t get away from. There are no surprises, the characters are all one dimensional, the story goes exactly where you expect, but I still laughed, I still felt the feels when it was appropriate, and there were still a number of moments where a CGI cat entertained me.
There is no doubt in my mind that this was nothing more than a paycheck to literally everybody involved. The production values are not good, with the film only taking place in around four locations, and there’s some of the worst green screen effects this side of the 90’s, it’s barely feature length at 87 minutes (including credits), and I can’t even understand what it is I enjoyed about the film, but it was just fun.
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