Dr. Dolittle review by David Richards
- Pamplin Media
- Central Oregonian - News
Dolittle 2 is one of those rare sequels that blows away the original.
It's witty, funny and it does a good job of mixing in light adult humor with the cute little children jokes. It puts enough on its plate for the whole family and by the end, I wish I had the ability to talk to the animals too.
Eddie Murphy returns as the title character. His second love in life is for animals, but his first is clearly for his family. Dolittle has no problem talking with insecure chameleons or the beaver-run mafia, but he does have difficulty talking with his own 16 year-old daughter (Raven-Levin) and those confrontations provide some of the movie's high points.
There is a plot, although the best moments really aren't plot related. The scene in which Murphy calls his daughter on her cell phone while standing outside her bedroom window and the scene in which the daughter redecorates her bedroom out of compassion for a pet are two of several moments that make the film worth watching.
The rest of the picture involves Dolittle and his quest to save a forest from a logging company. The villains are Joseph Potter (Jeffrey ones) and his attorney (Kevin Pollack), both of whom don't really care about Dolittle's animals, while Dolittle recruits his wife (Kyla Pratt) ashis lawyer in the case.
For now, the Dolittle's manage to strike a deal. If they can get an endangered female bear to mate with a male bear in the forest, then the habitat will prove useful and will be saved.
However, there is only one female and no males of the protected species in the forest, so Dolittle is left to recruit a dancing, singing bear for mating duties. Dolittle is crossing his fingers in hopes that the city bear can adapt quickly once in the wild.
Dr. Dolittle 2 works because of its charm and because of Murphy, who comes across playing all the right notes in his interactions as a father to his family and as a doctor to the animals.
Many of the jokes, although not hysterical, add a good-heartedness to the film. I enjoyed the Edgar Allan Poe line, and the one about the mating practices of rabbits. The Kentucky Derby and Sea World scenes aren't bad either.
As far as comedies go, this one isn't the funniest or the most perfect, but it doesn't try to be either. It's a simple, light comedy, one that offers a handful of laughs, and one that is filled with a lot of heart.