Reviews of the film on RTL

Doctor Strange Talks to Animals: Hollywood tried to remake a children’s book in 2020, but unfortunately no better than the silly movies with Eddie Murphy.

“The Wonderful Journey of Dr. Doolittle”

comedy • 10/04/2022• 8:15 pm

It’s been about 20 years since Eddie Murphy’s gossip as a doctor who can talk to animals in my Dr. Doolittle movies. And to be honest: you barely missed the number. In The Fantastic Journey of Dr. Doolittle (2020), which RTL is now showing as a free TV show, it has been revived once again. With his portrayal of Doctor Strange, Robert Downey Jr. draws more on the literary origin that author Hugh Lofting once invented in the trenches of World War I. The first book, Doctor Dolittle, appeared in 1920, followed two years later by the volume “The Travels of Doctor Doolittle”, which provides the film with some inspiration and a childlike companion for the main character. Otherwise, the action proceeds in the direction of an elaborate adventure movie with many gags, but not without exposure to some shipwrecks.

The beautifully animated introduction introduces Doolittle’s story and explains why the doctor retired from Victorian England for seven years. He lives with his animals hiding behind the high walls of his property and does not allow anyone to approach him. However, two representatives of the human race managed to do this.

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One of them is little animal-loving Stubbins (Harry Collette), who comes from a family of hunters, but that doesn’t mean he’s a good target: during a duck hunt he’s forced to do, he accidentally catches a squirrel and now hopes Dolittle can save her. The talented doctor’s help is also sought by Rose (Carmel Laniado), who comes to Doolittle from the court of young Queen Victoria (Jesse Buckley) and reports that the king is dying. She can rock the rickety and cynical doctor – and above all his animals – with a compelling argument: if Victoria dies, Doolittle loses his property.

So Zausel goes to court with his retinue of animals and finds out that Victoria has been poisoned and that the legendary fruit of the tree of Eden, located on a mysterious island in the tropics, can save her. With Stubbins as his apprentice and animals as his helpers, Doolittle sets out on a journey that will also confront him with the loss of his beloved wife.

Especially for very young viewers

Once Doolittle leaves his property, the directors surrounding director Stephen Gaghan (“Syriana”) build on a story very quickly. On a sailing ship, “The Wonderful Voyage of Doctor Doolittle” shows all that the genre has to offer: an attack at sea with cannons, a dangerous underwater scene, an island full of treasures. There is certainly a lot to look at, even if not every scene can create as much excitement as a whale harness as the outboard engine of Doolittle’s ship.

It all happens so quickly that there is little time for depth and closeness to the characters. The interaction of animals with each other occurs on a superficial level, but sometimes very funny. Only the scenes in which Robert Downey Jr., aka Doolittle, thinks of his dead wife are brief moments. Antonio Banderas as the ruler of the criminal island is also one of the rare highlights in this movie. On the other hand, lead actor Downey Jr. is fast returning to a very zany portrayal of the eccentric Dr. Doolittle’s return.

“The Wonderful Journey of Dr. Doolittle” is a movie for very young viewers. The Polynesian parrot, for example, has what it takes to become a favorite with youngsters thanks to its intelligence and stubbornness; Also because, unlike many other animals, it looks real. In light of alleged production costs of US$175 million, one wonders why some four-legged friends, such as a restless gorilla or a frozen polar bear, look so conspicuously like the listed computer products. There doesn’t seem to be a reunion with the little animals anyway: the movie flopped at the box office, and a sequel isn’t currently planned.

“The Wonderful Journey of Dr. Doolittle” – Sunday 10.04. – RTL: 8.15 PM

source: teleschau – der mediendienst GmbH

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