Dr. Dolittle 3
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Maya Dolittle, the now teenage daughter of the doctor played by Eddie Murphy in the first two films, also finds herself conversing with the animal species. In her quest to be normal, she finds herself at a dude ranch for the summer, where she must decide if she can embrace all the responsibilities of being a Dolittle.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
The whole premise of the DR. DOLITTLE films is so basic, a monkey (major pun intended!) could follow it. Man, or (in the case of DR. DOLITTLE 3) woman, finds that they can hear and speak to animals - comedy ensues. It’s not brain surgery, it’s very self explanatory and only a person with delusions of grandeur would deviate from it. (Especially on Part friggin’ 3!) The straight-to-video release of DR. DOLITTLE 3 is a complete and utter mess, as if someone took four different films and tossed them like a salad. The film has identity issues - is it a fish out of water picture, a story about overcoming oppression, or maybe just another tale about fitting in? Well, no offense to the writer here, but it should be the fourth option; a story about a person who can talk to animals! And seeing as how Mr. Doctor Dolittle himself Eddie Murphy bailed on this third outing, should they not have stuck with the only other key element that made these films a mediocre success? (Yes, the talking animals, you fool!) The cute and quirky animals have been relegated to almost a sub plot, which for a small child wanting to see the “monkey talking trash”, is a bit of a downer. The filmmakers should have decided what audience this film was for, it would’ve saved a lot of money. Was it for the kids who love the talking animals, young girls going through those awkward teenage years, older audiences who want to be spoon feed their films like warm applesauce, or maybe just filmgoers who want an underdog (yes, another pun) to root for? No matter which one, they will never, ever be able to co-exist within the same film and this fiasco is exhibit A! (And B, and C, and D…you get the point!)
With Kyla Pratt, who was Eddie’s daughter in the first two films, taking the lead in this film, it’s a hard pill to swallow. As watching a film called DR. DOLITTLE, without the actual DR. DOLITTLE, is almost an absurdity. Add in an early story about Pratt wanting to be cool in high school, then being shipped off to a dude ranch, then trying to help the ranch stay open by fighting the rival ranch across the way, and you’ve got a troubled film with so many subplots that even the guys who write Lost are jealous. Besides an average performance by Pratt, the rest of the cast is relegated to stereotypes we know and love. Like the feisty, jealous girl with a heart of gold, the funny fat kid (oh, that hasn’t been done nearly enough!), the geeky skinny kid, and the hunky ranch hand with a mysterious past, they’re all here for your viewing pleasure. (And that’s just the animals!) Let me put is this way, when the unbreakable stallion with an attitude is voiced by notorious nut burger Gary Busey, there’s trouble in paradise. Like father, like daughter…like, put me out of my misery!
(And there was barely enough of the talking animals to keep my kid in the room, so no support from the little guy either, sorry!)
The features, of which there are only four, are spread out over two Discs (I suppose to make it look like you’re getting more bark for your bite – not funny, I know, last one!), two on Disc One, two on Disc Two, both versions crap.
Audio commentary (with Director Rick Thorne and actor Kyla Pratt): A track that’s just as light and fluffy as you would expect, with Director Thorne getting my “Everyone is wonderful” Ass Kissing of the Year Award, as he throws around compliments like “loved her to death” and “gave life to this part that I just adore.” And it’s obvious that Thorne and Pratt are not in the same recording session, as Pratt sounds like she’s talking through a Styrofoam cup with a string attached. (And that’s the most interesting thing about her track!) Anyone who voluntarily listens to this thing needs psychiatric help! (Or at the very least, a girlfriend!)
Making Of Dr. Dolittle 3 (16:25): Of all the DVD featurettes to get my no film footage rule right, why did it have to be for this film? Yep, there is everything a fan of this film could ever want, stories and antics from the set, interviews, and a fat guy chasing a pig. If this film is your cup of tea, you’re gonna be in hog heaven!
Growing Up Dolittle (8:05): A look at Maya growing up through the various DR. DOLITTLE films, from a small sprout age 9 to talkative teen age 19. (And she loves everybody!) Though probably not a good thing to show scenes from the other films, as it may make fans scream for MIA Eddie! (Maybe he didn’t suck so badly after all!)
Plus there is a DR. DOLITTLE 3 TV Spot and a Trailer for the film LITTLE MANHATTAN.
If all the animals in this film - the dog, the horse, the monkey, the rooster, the ducks and the even the sassy pig – took one steaming, festering, fly attracting monster dump, it still wouldn’t smell as bad as this sad excuse for celluloid. My question is did this film need to be made? In fact, whose idea was it to revive this series? Have family films reached an all new saturation level that we need to be subjected to this trite? Let me put it this way - when I can tell just from his reading that actor Norm MacDonald, who voiced the dog Lucky in all three films, did this outing strictly for the paycheck, there’s a big problem. Some things should just be left well enough alone. Hey, I understand that the need for CPR and mouth to mouth, but a really good doctor knows when to pull the plug.