Universal Pictures | Release Date: January 17, 2020
4.6
USER SCORE
Mixed or average reviews based on 102 Ratings
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Positive:
38
Mixed:
18
Negative:
46
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4
ChrisMizerakJan 19, 2020
I think most if not all of us can agree on one thing. “Dolittle” seemed set up to fail from the start, and hardly anything about the current final product could fix that. Now before we call the vet, doctor, pet detective or ambulance ontoI think most if not all of us can agree on one thing. “Dolittle” seemed set up to fail from the start, and hardly anything about the current final product could fix that. Now before we call the vet, doctor, pet detective or ambulance onto this typical crime scene, let’s acknowledge a few things the film gets right. It starts off just fine with a 2D animated sequence detailing Doctor Dolittle’s backstory. In fact, I think if the entire film were done in traditional animation, that would have made much more sense. It would bring something new to the table in comparison to the previous live-action film adaptations before it. Unfortunately, it’s just a few minutes. But imagine the possibilities of this film working had they attempted going for this approach. I will also commend the filmmakers for not doing wall-to-wall excremental humor jokes throughout the entire feature, which considering the subject matter they could very well have done. Don’t get me wrong, that juvenile humor is still ever present in the final product, but it isn’t as in your face as something you’d get from a standard Happy Madison production, at least not yet. And finally, the film has its mind set in the right place in terms of its concept. The idea in question being the befriending of animals and coming to their aid, which in return results in vice versa. The spirit behind this attitude is well meaning, as proven by the box office success of films tackling similar subject matter: “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” and the Eddie Murphy version of “Dr. Dolittle”. If done the right way, a film about an animal doctor or detective can work. Needless to say, this is not the right way.

You don’t need a medical professional to tell you that “Dolittle” is in dire need of a cure for its inconsistent direction and tone alongside its thoroughly confused script. The dialogue is handled either one of the following two ways: it’s Victorian-era authentic or common sayings you hear in the 2010s. About a hundred years worth of difference in speech styles is easily noticeable and distracting, and a lot of this goes a long way. The characters, both human and mammal, are incredibly weak. Character development and motivations are not set up properly. The young boy aiding Dolittle in his quest brags about doing this and that throughout his arc, but his self-weighted importance never matches his actual contributions to the story, which is simply nothing. The young English girl that we see at the film’s beginning and end was a more suitable sidekick in my book. Antagonists to Doctor Dolittle are established, but the motivations and reasons why they were established seemed to be forgotten about. Some of you may be bold to ask: how many times do we see our titular character do anything resembling an animal doctor? Thankfully, yours truly has an answer ready: TWO! One takes places early on and is handled alright, all things considered. The other takes place in the third act with a dragon of all creatures, and reminds me how badly the film lost its way. You know you’re in trouble when something such as “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”, a film that barely focuses on pet detection half the time, does more with animal doctors than this film does. “Dolittle” hardly does anything with an interesting concept, instead following a tired family formula of going on a globe-trotting adventure around the world in search of an immensely valuable resource. I would have liked this film much better if it dared to do something more grounded in reality. In other words, follow the everyday life of an animal doctor that can care for multiple species and speak all of their diverse languages. Maybe have this doctor promote world peace amongst the humans, birds, dogs, elephants, lions, tigers, bears, and insects that populate Earth. Maybe Dolittle could have training schools to teach aspiring students what he knows, have students open up different divisions for animal care (psychologists, dentists, things of that sort), just go all out with this idea. Anything but this stale formula family film template that doesn’t take advantage of the possible quirks of the main protagonist’s profession. Because as it is now, there’s no way that a disjointed, tone-deaf and unimaginative mess such as “Dolittle” is going to make it in the long run. Not with an overdependence on CGI and animals that are never there, not with soulless personalities on screen (despite the talented cast in its realm), and certainly not with an incompetent script that can’t decide what kind of movie this should be in the first place. Ace Ventura, call an ambulance. I’m hit.
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4 of 6 users found this helpful42
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4
TVJerryJan 20, 2020
This reiteration of the doctor who can talk to animals stars Robert Downey Jr., using a weirdly soft voice that sounds like he dubbed the dialogue in the studio. Considering his star power, he's the least interesting thing in the movie. HisThis reiteration of the doctor who can talk to animals stars Robert Downey Jr., using a weirdly soft voice that sounds like he dubbed the dialogue in the studio. Considering his star power, he's the least interesting thing in the movie. His character sets out on an adventure with a young apprentice and a menagerie of personable animals to acquire a special cure for the Queen of England. What children will enjoy most (and yes, this is a film for kids) is the animals. A stellar lineup of actors are voicing them, often with enjoyable personalities. It's a bit sad that the writers felt necessary to cater to today's style, by dropping modern cultural references and even contemporary slang. Still, the creature comments provide the only fun in this ungainly escapade. Expand
2 of 4 users found this helpful22
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5
Compi24Jan 21, 2020
More misguided and uninspired than it is just plain "bad" in my opinion, Stephen Gaghan's "Dolittle" represents the textbook case of a studio pouring funds into an adaptation of a shaky IP, not being pleased with the results, and then hackingMore misguided and uninspired than it is just plain "bad" in my opinion, Stephen Gaghan's "Dolittle" represents the textbook case of a studio pouring funds into an adaptation of a shaky IP, not being pleased with the results, and then hacking it to bits in order to cut the runtime so it can get screened more often in theaters. The greatest shame, however, lies not in the questionable effects, iffy plotting, or spotty performance work. The greatest shame is that, I think there was something "there" with this one -- a potentially pleasant story, with satisfying ,emotional undertones and a great sense of whimsy to it. It's just that this movie didn't know what it wanted to be. It has the soul of a PG-13 film (see Robert Downey Jr.'s misanthropic, bitter turn as the titular veterinarian and widower) and the frills and feathers of a G-rated romp (see. . .everything else). Do I feel particularly bad for those involved? Not necessarily. It's a misfire, but I'm certain everyone involved will work once more. I just hope they've taken any/all creative lessons they've learned from this experience to heart. Expand
2 of 4 users found this helpful22
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4
JLuis_001Jan 18, 2020
This felt like a mixture of Sherlock Holmes, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Jungle Book and Land of the Lost and didn't land in any of its attempts.

Downey Jr. will attract the audiences but this was quite disappointing. The voice
This felt like a mixture of Sherlock Holmes, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Jungle Book and Land of the Lost and didn't land in any of its attempts.

Downey Jr. will attract the audiences but this was quite disappointing.

The voice work was pretty good though.
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2 of 4 users found this helpful22
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5
313btfuJan 22, 2020
Dolittle is a passable film with a concrete plot and vast, colorful settings. While the film may not have the same appeal for adults, the animals are well done and the comedy is simple which should make the movie a good time for youngerDolittle is a passable film with a concrete plot and vast, colorful settings. While the film may not have the same appeal for adults, the animals are well done and the comedy is simple which should make the movie a good time for younger audiences. Robert Downey Jr. as the titular Dolittle felt underutilized as a whole, and no other performances really stuck out. Expand
2 of 4 users found this helpful22
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4
ChanthaveeJan 31, 2020
Having grown up with Dolittle I had great expectations that possibly Hollywood would be true to the original. Ok, reality check... nope! Animation has come a long way and I appreciate the rendering work but that alone does not make it a goodHaving grown up with Dolittle I had great expectations that possibly Hollywood would be true to the original. Ok, reality check... nope! Animation has come a long way and I appreciate the rendering work but that alone does not make it a good movie. Robert Downey Jr. does nothing to make the movie better if any more annoying. Better money spent going to a zoo, then again zoo's are no better either. Save your pennies, read the book. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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5
Alem77Feb 1, 2020
Il film l'ho visto oggi con mio figlio di 7 anni eni suoi amici e genitori. Un gran bel film per bambini e adulti, Downey è il solito carismatico attore che riesce ad intrattenerti con uno sguardo, film divertente, grandi risate, veloce,Il film l'ho visto oggi con mio figlio di 7 anni eni suoi amici e genitori. Un gran bel film per bambini e adulti, Downey è il solito carismatico attore che riesce ad intrattenerti con uno sguardo, film divertente, grandi risate, veloce, bellissime scenografie e così puro da farti sognare. Consigliatissimo Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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6
zmgalen2000Feb 12, 2020
Light-hearted and good fun, Dolittle is cute, at best. Falling short of the Disney magic it seems to live up to, the movie's potential (and great cinematography and acting) is undermined by weak writing, a limited plot, and subpar visualLight-hearted and good fun, Dolittle is cute, at best. Falling short of the Disney magic it seems to live up to, the movie's potential (and great cinematography and acting) is undermined by weak writing, a limited plot, and subpar visual effects. A bit overly juvenile at some points, the film feels like a bit of a waste (despite some, let's just say shocking scenes). Is it bad? Not by any means. It certainly accomplishes its goal of being a feel-good movie, but it's also the perfect movie to put on in the background while doing other (more important) things around the house. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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4
smpeachyFeb 18, 2020
Why do all the animals have American accents? There are a few faults in the movie's story, and some of the acting performances were pretty poor. Robert Downey Jr showed he was definitely having fun, coming off of a long stint with the MCU,Why do all the animals have American accents? There are a few faults in the movie's story, and some of the acting performances were pretty poor. Robert Downey Jr showed he was definitely having fun, coming off of a long stint with the MCU, but you could tell this was a gap filler for the next big performance he will be apart of. Despite this, it was a decent, fun, family movie with a bit of comedy here and there, but became very predictable as the story developed. I wouldn't suggest going to the cinema to see the movie, but rather wait for it to come out on a streaming service and then watch it at home with the family. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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