Professor Brody (Jeff Goldblum) is a scientist working on a cure for allergies to dogs. This would, of course, be intolerable to cats who, for the last 5,000 years, have been fighting a secret war against our canine friends. "Cats & Dogs" is a live-action film in which Beagle puppy Lou (voiced by Tobey Maguire) is humanity's last hope to stop cat domination of the world.
Perhaps the most impressive achievement of the film is the way that within five minutes of the curtain rising you are prepared to accept not only that animals talk to one another when humans are not looking, but that dogs use sophisticated electronic scanning equipment to guard their owners and are members of a secret organisation dedicated to protecting humanity.
The action switches imperceptibly between real animals, animatronic puppets, and CGI, resulting in an almost complete suspension of disbelief, even when the ninja cats parachute in.
The film is driven by the fiendish Mr Tinkles (a deliciously OTT Sean Hayes in full-on Blofeld mode), a white Persian cat leading the forces of evil. The musical score, too, would feel right at home in a Bond movie.
Against this backdrop, the pace only lets up when the humans are on screen. Nevertheless, the film succeeds both as a parody of the spy genre, and in stretching the boundaries of what you believe is possible.
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