Cats | Chicago Reader

Cats

Cats the movie makes Cats the stage musical look like Hamilton, never mind that Cats the stage musical is to Hamilton as 45’s Sharpie notes are to Shakespeare. Though that’s not entirely fair. Cats on film is a towering achievement in furry porn. In that niche genre, director Tom Hooper’s take on the 1981 Andrew Lloyd Webber musical is now and forever. Those sleek tails standing at rigid attention. The overlarge tongues dripping with milk. The fuzzy full-frontal licking of frontals as sleek as a Ken Doll crotch. The twitching whiskers. The moaning meows. The human eyes gaping like lost souls, trapped in a Dante’s tenth circle of hell, land of hypertrichosic chin beards. Remember Jeff Goldblum, at the end of The Fly? Cats is kind of like that, only instead of Jeff Goldblum as a mutant human/insect hybrid, we get Idiris Elba, Sir Ian McKellen, Rebel Wilson (lots of licking herself), and Dame Judi Dench (thank god never licking herself) as mutant cat/people hybrids. Speaking of which: Let us all send thoughts and prayers to Dame Judi, as she is clearly dealing with catastrophic financial issues. How else to explain her presence as “Old Deuteronomy,” the head cat who decides which Jellicle (Don’t know? Don’t worry, doesn’t matter) gets another life via the Heavyside Layer (same) provided she isn’t murdered by Macavity (Elba), who (in a completely preposterous departure from the musical) takes her hostage with a band of pirate cats and makes her walk the plank. This is patently ridiculous because as anyone who has seen the stage musical knows, Macavity is the Best Cat of the lot of them because he can make himself invisible, hence you don’t have to look at him. Warning: Jennifer Hudson’s “Memory” will stay with you. Cats is a movie you cannot unsee.

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