‘Dolittle’ lacks coherence, does too much


Illustration by Lillie Busch

What was once a highly anticipated film, “Dolittle” undermines expectations with a confusing plot, random scenes and lack of comedy. Compared to previous adaptations, this film is the worst attempt at revamping a past production.

While Hollywood has been lacking in terms of originality, “Dolittle” is yet another film based on a previous feature. With multiple Disney live-action films already in the making, this movie is just another exhausting attempt to keep the past relevant. It’s still a wonder how many reboots are needed until society forgets the original film ever existed.

Not only was “Dolittle” a hot mess with absolutely no plot, but it was also a waste of the $175 million spent before it even went to theaters. The comedy in “Dolittle” was open-ended and not even worthy of half the audience’s attention, which was made of five-year-olds completely bored out of their minds. If “Cats” was released in 2020, the two films would have a bidding war for the worst film this decade.

Even Robert Downey Jr. couldn’t save the shipwreck that this film had turned into. From his iconic, serious roles in the past, it was shocking to see him embarrass himself as Dolittle, if even possible for such a blockbuster actor. Even children can’t deny these spastic scenes and embarrassing cliches that no one wants to watch.

Director Stephen Gaghan is known for his dramatic and humorless films, which made this lacking adaptation unsurprising. Gaghan aimed for simplicity, which ruined the plot, the interaction between characters, as well as any comedic relief the audience thought they might experience.

The CGI animals were painfully unrealistic, as they tend to be in this type of cringe, family-oriented movie. The only animal scene that involved any genuine emotion was one with a stick bug.

Every kid-focused movie benefits from an adventure, but this film’s plot is lacking and therefore reeks of an unplanned script. “Dolittle” feels as if the writers made drunken bets on which scenes to place where, and somehow produced this movie without anyone else’s consent. 

While the plot wavered every so often, the titular character Dolittle still remained the hero that many children now fail to see. The doctor himself continued to heal those animals who were sick, which is more than we can say for the world we live in now. Even though the original story was written in the 1920s, “Dolittle” touches on one main topic still relevant today: taking care of those who cannot do so for themselves.

Even with issues throughout the movie, the resolution was reached through friendship instead of violence. This is still relevant today with foreign threats. It is eye-opening to see a movie so relevant, even though poorly made, promote non-violence in such a subtle way.