Lewd, crude and genuinely rude, The Cat In The Hat is a kiddie movie like no other. Berated by critics Stateside for its totally irreverent take on the rhyming children's book by Dr Seuss, Mike Myers' ill-fated outing as the mischievous moggy who babysits a pair of wholesome American kids (Dakota Fanning and Spencer Breslin) while trashing their mom's pristine house isn't half as awful as advance word suggests. In fact, in a distinctly perverse way, it's a brilliantly bad kamikaze movie.
Not many actors can carry a film while dressed in a moth-eaten moggy suit, but Myers somehow manages it, delivering a scattergun procession of gags like an asylum escapee doing a stand-up routine. Forget Jim Carrey's green-furred Grinch - this feckless feline will terrify kids to tears. Leading us into a head-trip landscape of primary colours, tangerine dream surrealism, purple gunk, and monstrously inappropriate gags, Myers takes Austin Powers-style innuendo into a parallel dimension where the laws of gravity, time, and good taste no longer apply.
"PARENTAL GUIDANCE IS DEFINITELY ADVISED"
"This is what happens when you visit my world. Or eat bad shellfish," leers the cat before launching into a series of nonsensical jokes about talking goldfish ("You gonna listen to him? He drinks where he pees!") and carnival clowns with hepatitis. He even finds time to answer the age-old conundrum of where do cats come from: "When a mommy cat and a daddy cat love each other very much, they decide to..." And that's before the Technicolor barf bag hurling, hairball-spewing toilet humour really kicks in. Parental Guidance is definitely advised.
Riotously ribald, seriously surreal, this moggy's more like a randy tomcat on a hallucinogenic batch of Viagra than the chaotically charming feline from Dr Seuss' book. Which is why, when all the fur has settled, this dementedly deranged outing might yet be distinctive enough to warrant cult status. Hold onto your hats, cats!