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Garfield 2

Putting a feline spin on the classic fable The Prince and the Pauper (or as this film puts it, Paw-purr), Garfield 2 is a colourful family comedy caterwauling for a decent screenplay.

Burnley and Pendle Citizen:

Bill Murray's energetic vocal performance as the computer generated, lasagne-loving kitty, dripping with sarcasm, can only sustain the film so far.

Eventually, even he grows bored with the flimsy excuse for a plot and reverts to singing and a fleeting Hannibal Lecter impersonation (the fava beans line) to drag out the running time to 80 minutes.

The sequel's change of location from Garfield's cosy cul-de-sac to a glorious country pile in the heart of merry ole England provides obvious comic moments as the overweight American tabby gets to grips with the ways of the aristocracy.

Supporting characters - a menagerie of talking animals, which seem to have been shipped en masse from the Babe films are largely forgettable including Jane Leeves and Jane Horrocks as ducks Eenie and Meenie and Sharon Osbourne as the goose, Christophe.

The one notable exception is Winston the bulldog, voiced by Bob Hoskins, who seems a perfect match for man's best friend.

Billy Connolly sneers, leers and gnaws the scenery as the scheming villain of the piece a dastardly toff with a greedy eye on the family silver but looks somewhat uneasy with some of the physical comedy.

Garfield's long-suffering owner Jon Arbuckle (Breckin Meyer) intends to propose to his pretty veterinarian girlfriend, Liz Wilson (Jennifer Love Hewitt), but the mood is wrecked by the selfish cat and Liz's shock announcement that she is leaving for London to attend a conference at Carlyle Castle.

Lifting himself from his gloom, Jon decides to surprise Liz by secretly flying to England and asking for her hand in marriage there instead.

He leaves Garfield and pooch pal Odie at the kennels but of course the enterprising animals sneak into his luggage.

On the streets of the capital, Garfield is mistaken for his doppelganger, a cat called Prince (Tim Curry), who has just inherited Carlyle Castle from the recently deceased Lady Eleanor. So while the real Prince becomes acquainted with domestic life with Jon, Garfield is in the lap of luxury. Unfortunately, Lady Eleanor's dastardly nephew Lord Dargis (Billy Connolly) believes he is the rightful heir of the family estate and so he schemes to remove Garfield.

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