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Nine Lives  : One Is More Than Enough
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Friday, August 26, 2016
Comedy
Barry Sonnenfeld
Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Garner, Robbie Amell

Tom Brand's ego is as tall as FireBrand Towers, the tallest building he wants to make to 'Trump' his rivals. Rich and pompous, he steamrollers his Board of Directors since he's the majority shareholder and his face is all over the place. But even if he doesn't take her calls, he does adore second wife Lara and he does take a minute off to personally pick, ugh, something he finds repulsive for daughter Rebecca's birthday from Purrkins, the cat store.

 

Meanwhile, Tom's running late for Rebecca's party and when she saves a slice of her cake for him, his first wife who hangs around the place, cattily says, "Put it in the freezer next to last year's slice."

 

But Tom's not around this time because a cat whisperer at the pet store has stepped into their lives. His magic solution to make the cat-hating Tom change his narcissistic ways is to do a body switch.

 

Bring in some kiddishly written office intrigue with Ian, a disgruntled employee out to checkmate Tom and abracadabra! Tom's body lies comatose in a hospital bed while he lives on in the body of Mister Fuzzypants, the cat he'd picked for Rebecca.

 

After drinking himself silly, wetting a rug he always hated and trying to catch his family's attention to let them know that he's Tom and not a cat, he's finally forced to be purrfect by the stern cat whisperer. Soon Mister Fuzzypants catches on to what's been going on around him. His first wife has been best-friending his second but Lara does love Tom. At work, Ian has been telling the Directors that Tom in a coma is not a crisis but an opportunity. Tom discovers that son David from his first wife is not the wimp he thought he was but a young man trying desperately to save his dad's company from the rival forces at work. And Rebecca really misses her dad. Enough reasons to change Tom.

 

Mister Fuzzypants sneaks off to office to help David, makes Rebecca feel that he's still around and finally, there's the customary redemption and happy ending.

 

Kevin Spacey who made the mean, selfish look his winning speciality in House Of Cards, continues being snarky. Christopher Walken as the cat whisperer and Jennifer Garner as Lara are routine comic book add-ons.

 

There are cheesy one-liners to try and keep it going but what exactly is new out here? Is a smart alecky talking cat the best that director Barry Sonnenfeld could come up with?

 

For a film that strives to be comic but comes up with only a ball of fluff, Nine Lives gets a 2* rating.

 

Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author

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