Not to be catty, but did we need another Garfield movie? The flabby tabby's 2004 pic proved pretty cat-egorically that what worked in newspaper strip form can look pretty paw-ltry on the big screen, even with $50m of CGI to play with. Helmer Tim Hill ups the ante by relocating the lasagne-loving feline to Merrie Olde England and by giving him a posh lookalike to swap places with. Even at 78 minutes, though, Garfield 2 has all the energy of a dead mouse.
Following his owner Jon (Breckin Meyer) to London to stop him proposing to his vet girlfriend (Jennifer Love Hewitt), Garfield (voiced by Bill Murray) is soon confused for the snooty Prince (Tim Curry) and transplanted to the stately estate the latter has just inherited. Spurned Lord Dargis (Billy Connolly) has other ideas, though, plotting a cat-astrophic end for the hairy heir so he can have the loot for himself. Fortunately for Garfield, and the movie, Prince's home comes with a menagerie of talking critters that unite to foil this sneaky scheme.
The large voice cast is the chief cat-traction this time around, with Bob Hoskins, Jane Horrocks, Richard E Grant et al bringing some homegrown charisma to their feathery and four-legged characters. As before, though, they tend to point up the blandness of the human players, not to mention the incongruity of the orange, computer-animated fuzzball in their midst. Post-Four Weddings, meanwhile, it appears Hollywood can't get enough of us wacky Brits with our stuffy manners and sprawling country piles.