DR. DOLITTLE 2
Release Date: June 22, 2001
Audience: Older children & adults
Runtime: 100 minutes
Distributor: 20th Cent. Fox
Director: Steve Carr
Executive Producer: Neil Machlis & Joe Singer
Producer: John Davis
Writer: Larry Levin
Address Comments To:Tom Rothman & Jim Gianopulos, Chairmen
Fox Filmed Entertainment
20th Century Fox Film Corp.
A division of Fox, Inc. & News Corp.
10201 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Phone: (310) 369-1000
DR2 opens in a winsome, humorous way. Dr. Dolittle, played by Eddie Murphy, has too many patients to attend, both human and animal. While his nurse rattles off the people that he has to treat, Lucky the dog rattles off the animals he has to treat. Of course, the reason he’s treating the animals is because he’s the only human being who can understand them.
When he comes home, his family is understandably annoyed at his over-commitment. His 16-year-old daughter, Charisse, is really turned off by his cross-species medical activities. As he tries to make it up to her on her birthday, a raccoon tells him that "the beaver" wants to see him. The beaver runs the animal mafia in a pristine forest. A logger wants to tear down the forest.
Instead of taking his family to Paris for much-needed R&R, the concerned Dr. Dolittle tries to save the forest. Legally this can only be done if there’s a species that’s going to become extinct. Actually, there is one last specific Pacific Western Bear in the forest, named Ava, but she needs a mate. Otherwise, it’s too late to save that species. So, Dr. Dolittle finds a mate in Archie, a circus bear, who’s actually a big ham. Archie doesn’t want any part of the wild. He likes playing small-time venues, but when he sees Ava, he gets slightly interested.
The rest of the movie entails Dr. Dolittle trying to get Archie to become the bear that he should be, and the developer trying to thwart these plans. Finally, all the animals in the world have to stand together against the mean, rotten developer, who says, if he defeated the Democrats, he can defeat these dumb animals, in a joke that cuts both ways.
What starts out as a moderately funny, and even somewhat winsome, comedy deteriorates into an absurd, foul-mouthed, dirty little tale fatally hampered by a bifurcated premise. One part of the premise is Archie versus Ava, a romantic comedy with potential. The other is the environmentalist battle between the evil developers and the poor besieged animals. The filmmakers, who are touted for their involvement with the Democratic Party and environmental causes in the press kit, decided to finish off the romantic comedy abruptly and focus the end of the movie on the environmental battle. The trouble is, the audience cared about the former love story, which took up most of the movie, not the latter environmental battle. Therefore, the children stopped laughing, and the critics started mumbling that the movie was way too long.
This fatal structural flaw was not helped by director Steve Carr’s inability to bring character out of the animals or Eddie Murphy. With a background in MTV, Carr seemed to think that posing was a substitute for character development. Eddie Murphy has a tremendous range. It’s sad to see him reduced to a couple of poses. The press kit says that Archie the bear also has a tremendous range, but little of it is reflected in this movie.
Many of the current duds that are coming out of Hollywood are being directed by these MTV whiz kids. They seem to think that style substitutes for substance. They spend a lot of money for glitz. Somebody at the studios should start an ex-MTV directors institute to help them learn the basic of drama before they give them a multimillion dollar budget.
Running out of story and unaccustomed to character development, the movie tries to hold the audience by upping the ante on the scatological humor. One extended sequence has Archie and Dr. Dolittle debating about a butt plug so that Archie can hibernate. It is regrettable to bring this into the review, but for some reason, people seem to put up with this mounting filth in movies, which, when lifted out of the movie itself, appears for what it is, disgusting. This is just one of many examples. A long sequence of a dog marking its territory, inter-species sexual references, which used to be known as bestiality, and other jokes try to compensate for the weakness in the storyline.
If you really want to see DR. DOLITTLE 2, MOVIEGUIDE®’s recommendation is wait until the first yawn and go to the next theater. If the next theater is playing PEARL HARBOR, perhaps you can marry the better first half of DR. DOLITTLE with the better second half of PEARL HARBOIR for a truly satisfying viewing experience.
The filmmakers of DR. DOLITTLE 2 decided to finish off the romantic comedy between Ava and Archie abruptly and focus the end of the movie on the environmental battle. The trouble is, the audience cared about the former, which took up most of the movie, not the latter. Therefore, kids stopped laughing and critics started mumbling that the movie was way too long. Running out of story and unaccustomed to character development, the movie tries to hold the audience by increasing the bathroom humor and lightweight sexual references, which made the later half of the movie just plain dirty