Review: Dolittle (PG)

Eve Ducker reviews Dolittle and tells us if Downer Jr's career is taking a voyage into the abyss

Eve Ducker
17th February 2020
He can talk and walk with the animals as we well know, but how does this 2020 reincarnation of the classic tale bring a fresh light to the man who speaks to animals?

There was unfortunately nothing that could redeem this film’s butchery of the story. From the awful CGI to the inconsistent Welsh accent by Robert Downey Junior (Iron Man) who led as Dolittle. Our erratic narrator of Polly the parrot (Emma Thompson) invites us into the story of Dolittle who lives as a recluse with only his animal friends all of whom have their own flaws. The Queen is poisoned and Dolittle and his animal friends are forced out of their comfort zone and onto a quest to find the antidote to the poison, at which point the story then lurches into a chaotic adventure.

Dolittle promotional poster. Image: IMDB

The film’s desperate attempt to be whimsical (while backed by some costly design) falls flat, responsibility for this lies solely with the director (Stephan Gagham) trying too hard. The film is stuffed with jokes that don’t land and incomplete characters making for a confusing audience experience. There is so much lacking it is a difficult film to enjoy.

While it seems like the perfect role for Downey Junior, the eccentricity of Dolittle is diluted so much, making for a bland performance. The root of this may be the difficulty in reacting with the animals that aren’t there.
Dolittle was dull and difficult to watch, a real let down. The lasting impression of this film is that of looking at a child’s collage; you know they’ve tried hard and you’ll stick it on the fridge despite knowing in your heart that it’s nothing special.

Rating: 2/5

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