Nine Lives

His life just got put on paws
His life just got put on paws


D: Barry Sonnenfeld

EuropaCorp/Fundamental Films (Lisa Ellzey)

France/China 2016

87 mins


W: Gwyn Lurie, Matt R. Allen, Caleb Wilson, Daniel Antoniazzi & Ben Shiffrin

DP: Karl Walter Lindenlaub

Ed: Don Zimmerman & David Zimmerman

Mus: Evgueni Galperine & Sacha Galperine

Kevin Spacey (Tom Brand), Jennifer Garner (Lara Brand), Robbie Amell (David Brand), Malina Weissman (Rebecca Brand), Christopher Walken (Felix Perkins)

Before I settled down to watch this English-language, French-produced comedy, my expectations were really, really, really low. The concept alone didn't fill me with confidence and neither did the line-up of the cast. I think Kevin Spacey is a great actor, but is this really a fitting role for him? The answer is no. 

That being said, Nine Lives wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, but it still isn't very good. It's just an average, bland, inoffensive family flick.

Kevin Spacey plays Tom (get it?) Brand, a workaholic who spends most of his life in board meetings and shunning his family. Following a disagreement with a shady executive at his company, he finds himself trapped inside the cat he had just bought his young daughter for her birthday, the workings of a mystical pet shop owner (played by Christopher Walken). 

It's an It's A Wonderful Life variant with a cat, except there isn't any real character arc for the main character. Throw that in with some incredibly poor visual effects and a lazy voice performance by Kevin Spacey and it's much closer to Look Who's Talking Now rather than Frank Capra.

I can't blame Spacey for taking the role. A job is a job. But he's really above this, and so is director Barry Sonnenfeld.

Like a real life cat, it probably won't make much difference if you don't pay it any attention.


Jennifer Garner in Nine Lives
Jennifer Garner in Nine Lives