THE JOURNEY OF DR DOLITTLE: Robert Downey Jr. can talk to animals (and children) | myCANAL

Job by Cinema Canal December 9, 2021

Finally relieved of the Iron Man costume after more than ten years of good and loyal service, the New York actor resuscitated by Marvel successfully tries his hand at children’s comedy with this big production, a new adaptation of the work of Hugh Lofting.

Caribbean veterinarian

How sad Doctor John Dolittle (Robert Downey Jr.) is at the start of Stephen Gaghan’s new movie (2020). Seven years after the disappearance of his wife, he is still stunned by grief, and lives reclusive on his property where his only social contacts are with exotic animals. Because this rather sly man is not a doctor like the others: he has the gift of talking to our animal friends. He is also Queen Victoria’s veterinarian, and it is the latter’s plight that forces him to come out of his torpor, as he must set sail aboard his boat to get to a legendary island where he is supposed to find the only existing cure for the queen’s ailments. Here he is embarked on a crazy adventure on the seas, in the company of a menagerie of animals, each more bizarre than the next.

He is notably accompanied by a tormented gorilla (Rami Malek), a hard-headed duck (Octavia Spencer), a cynical ostrich (Kumail Nanjiani), a friendly polar bear who fears the cold (John Cena), and a parrot (Emma Thompson) who is also his closest collaborator. This non-exhaustive vocal cast is accompanied by big names that we enjoy meeting in the flesh, such as Michael Sheen, Jim Broadbent and Antonio Banderas, who embodies an old acquaintance of the doctor, the antagonist Rassouli. With a huge budget (175 million dollars), LE VOYAGE DU DR DOLITTLE also offers beautiful animals in synthetic images, and the countless gags of the film will also delight young audiences and their parents in search of a film. family adventure.

A highly prized movie character

But the main attraction of the film remains Robert Downey Jr. as THE JOURNEY OF DR DOLITTLE is his first role in a blockbuster since the end of his lease with Marvel Studios. Always at ease in the register of comedy, he is the third actor to slip into the skin of the famous character of the English writer Hugh Lofting. Before him, we remember of course that Eddie Murphy had raised the glove in 1998 and 2001 for DOCTOR DOLITTLE 1 and 2, directed respectively by Betty Thomas and Steve Carr. The two films had met a big success at the box office, which is not the case with the first incarnation of Doctor Dolittle in the cinema: in 1967, it is the British actor Rex Harrison who interpreted the role in the comedy. musical THE EXTRAVAGANT DOCTEUR DOLITTLE, a memorable flop that has become somewhat cult today.

Since then, films with talking animals have had contrasting destinies, but aficionados of the genre will never tire of seeing BABE, THE PIG BECOME SHEPHERD (Chris Noonan, 1995) and its sequel BABE, THE PIG IN THE CITY (George Miller, 1998) or the three feature films in the adorable STUART LITTLE series (2002-2005). More recently, Paul King achieved a real tour de force with the bear of PADDINGTON (2014) and its sequel (2017), well-deserved critical and public successes. But as we have said, not everyone has had the same success, and the spectacular failure of the adaptation of CATS by Tom Hooper in 2019 is there to remind us. We preferred the special effects of the master of the genre Robert Zemeckis in a much more successful adaptation, SACRED WITCHES (2021), where the talking mice from Roald Dahl’s work are very convincing. And the same can obviously be said of the animals in Disney’s live-action remakes. But if your kids have seen them all a few times already, or you wouldn’t say no to a kid’s version of Jack Sparrow’s adventures, DR DOLITTLE’S TRIP is for you.

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THE JOURNEY OF DR DOLITTLE: Robert Downey Jr. can talk to animals (and children) | myCANAL