Movie Review – ‘That Darn Cat’ (1997)

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

Well, after checking out the 1965 film ‘That Darn Cat!’, which I greatly enjoyed on Disney+, it’s only fair that I check out the 1997 remake of the film called ‘That Darn Cat’, which I’ve also seen on Disney+. It was intriguing to check out 1997’s ‘That Darn Cat’ and I enjoyed the film in a surreal way.

With that said, I don’t find 1997’s ‘That Darn Cat’ to be as good as the original 1965 film. I suppose that’s to be expected, since remakes can often be not as good as the original films. I found this to be the case when it came to checking out 2019‘s ‘The Lion King’, which isn’t as good as the 1994 film. 😐

There have been remakes of films that I’ve enjoyed more than the original, such as 1994’s ‘Miracle on 34th Street’, 2017‘s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and 2019’s ‘Aladdin’. But I can clearly see how not well-received 1997’s ‘That Darn Cat’ was at the time of its release, despite the fun time I had with it.

My main issue with 1997’s ‘That Darn Cat’ is that it’s not as funny as the 1965 film. When I saw the 1965 film, I enjoyed the hilarious antics of the DC cat being chased around, especially at the drive-in cinema and with Richard Deacon’s character getting cream in his face. My Mum was laughing a lot. 🙂

Sadly, there weren’t many laughs to be found in this film. You can tell that actors and characters were trying to be funny in the film, but a lot of the time, the comedy feels forced. It also went way over-the-top in the film’s climax, as there was a ‘Dukes of Hazzard’-styled car chase that occurred. 😐

It’s a shame 1997’s ‘That Darn Cat’ isn’t as good as the 1965 film, especially since the film was directed by Bob Spiers, who also directed Series 2 of ‘Fawlty Towers’. Mind you, he didn’t direct that many films compared to the amount of UK and non-UK TV that he directed in his filmmaking career.

1997’s ‘That Darn Cat’ takes place in the town of Edgefield. A crime is committed in Boston and young Patti deduces the kidnapped maid of a rich married couple is somewhere in Edgefield, based on a clue that her cat DC brought home. She has help from FBI agent Zeke Kelso to solve this case. 🙂

The film features Christina Ricci as Patti Randall (the Hayley Mills character of course). Christina Ricci was in the 1995 film ‘Casper’, two years before 1997’s ‘That Darn Cat’ was made. It was interesting to see Christina Ricci’s Patti as a quite often sulky teenager who always seemed to be wearing black.

The main star of the show is of course DC (or is it D.C. as Wikipedia credits him? 😐 ), except he’s not a Siamese cat here. I’m not sure why it was decided to change DC’s cat breeding in the 1997 film compared to the 1965 film. I think DC in the original film is more impressive than in the 1997 film. 😐

And there’s Doug E. Doug as FBI agent Zeke Kelso (Dean Jones’ character). It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, but apparently, Doug E. Doug has been in the 1993 film ‘Cool Runnings’. There were times when I think the Zeke Kelso in this film was silly, especially when he tried walking around like a cat. 😦

Dean Jones also appears in the film as Mr. Flint, who lives in Boston, along with his wife Dyan Cannon as Mrs. Flint. I’m disappointed Dean Jones’ role in this remake film is smaller compared to the original film. There’s also George Dzundza as FBI Captain Boetticher who belittles Zeke Kelso in this. 😦

There’s Michael McKean as Peter Randall and Bess Armstrong as Judy Randall, Patti’s parents. There’s Peter Boyle as Pa and Rebecca Schull as Ma. I’ve seen Peter Boyle in ‘Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed’ and ‘The Santa Clause’ films. He’s well-known in ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’. 🙂

There’s John Ratzenberger as mechanic Dusty and Mark Christopher Lawrence as Rollo, another mechanic that constantly provokes Dusty. There’s Megan Cavanagh as Lu the butcher, who has a thing for Thomas F. Wilson (Biff from ‘Back to the Future’) as Melvin, who is a Edgefield patrol man.

There’s Brian Haley as Marvin, the other patrol man; Estelle Parsons as Old Lady McCracken; Rebecca Koon as Lizzie, the Flints’ maid; and Wilbur Fitzgerald as a scientist. When Old Lady McCracken had her bird in a cage and DC was after it, I couldn’t help think of the Tweety Pie bird. 😀

1997’s ‘That Darn Cat’ isn’t very good as a remake film of the original 1965 film, but I’d lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it, as I found it an interesting experience to check out. I don’t think I’ll be revisiting the 1997 remake film anytime soon, as I think it’ll be the original 1965 film that I’ll be wanting to revisit more.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim 🙂

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