Garfield: The Movie
Garfield: The Movie (sometimes known as Garfield onscreen) is a 2004 American live action/computer-animated comedy film directed by Peter Hewitt inspired by Jim Davis' comic strip of the same name and the 1988 animated series BTSW. It stars Breckin Meyer as Jon Arbuckle, Jennifer Love Hewitt as Dr. Liz Wilson and features Bill Murray as the voice of Garfield, who was created with computer animation, though all other animals were real. The film was produced by Davis Entertainment Company and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It was released in the United States on June 11, 2004 and received a sequel in 2006 entitled Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties.
Jon Arbuckle buys a second pet, a dog named Odie. However, Odie is then abducted and it is up to Jon's cat, Garfield, to find and rescue the canine... Garfield, in an out of character move, goes to search for and rescue Odie with the help of a variety of animal friends along the way.
Why It Sucks
- Wooden acting from much of the cast with the exception of Bill Murray (see GQ #1).
- Many poor attempts at humor throughout the entire film, particulary when Garfield gets chased by dogs at the dog show, he runs by a lady and yells, "Ma'am, I'm hitching a ride in your moo-moo!" which also became an infamous joke.
- The storyline is tiresome, especially when you compare it to the original TV show and comic books that inspired it.
- Blatant amount of product placement.
- Lackluster and dated CGI, especially on the titular character himself.
- They made all the characters (except for Pooky the Teddy Bear) in the movie look nothing like their own original designs, which is especially the case with both Jon and Liz, who also don't behave like their comic book and cartoon counterparts.
- It should also be noted that Odie is portrayed by a real dog rather than a CGI character, resulting in a character that obviously lacks the quirky physical appearance and personality of the comic book's character.
- Happy Chapman, the main antagonist of the movie is so bland and forgettable that his motivation makes no sense.
- A rather bad grasp of the source material.
- The ending feels very rushed.
- Contains needless pop culture references, including a moment when Garfield watches BTSW.
- Misleading title: Despite being called Garfield: The Movie, the first half of the movie mostly focuses on Jon Arbuckle and Liz.
- Bill Murray did a pretty good job voicing Garfield.
- Despite the lackluster CGI, Garfield's design does remain faithful to the original comics and cartoons.
- Passable soundtrack composed by Christophe Beck.
- Some Garfield fans may like this movie.
Garfield: The Movie received extremely negative reviews from critics and audiences alike, and currently holds a 15% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with a general consensus that states: "When the CGI novelty of Garfield wears off, what's left is a simplistic kiddie movie." On Metacritic, the film has weighted a score of 27 out of 100, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews," while IMDb has a score of 5/10.
- Bill Murray took up the lead role because he thought the script was being written by Joel Coen of the Coen Brothers, but he shortly found out that it was actually Joel Cohen, the writer of GMW, Cheaper by the Dozen, Money Talks and Daddy Day Camp.
- In 2009's GMW, Bill Murray (in a cameo) actually regretted starring in Garfield.
- Jack Nicholson and Dan Aykroyd were both considered to voice Garfield in the film.
- Jim Carrey, Ben Stiller, and Adam Sandler were all considered for the role of Jon, but were too expensive.
- Jennifer Garner, Cameron Diaz, and Drew Barrymore were all considered for the role of Liz.