‘The Garfield Movie’ is Cute, But Could’ve Been Much More – Review

We went to see The Garfield Movie to see if this go-round with everyone’s favorite orange tabby lived up to its potential.

I’ll happily admit to being a fan of Garfield since before I can remember. From the comic strip to the classic cartoon, whatever that fat cat got up to, I was there for it. Lately though, I’d fallen off, as I was not a fan of the Bill Murray Garfield movies. However, The Garfield Movie looked pretty cute, even if I was dubious about Chris Pratt in the title role, so I decided to check it out.

The Garfield Movie, as you might expect, follows Garfield as he is ripped out of his comfortable life with Jon and Odie to help out his long-lost father Vic. This is complicated by Garfield being bitter over Vic seemingly abandoning him as a kitten five years previously.

The movie’s story is…okay. It starts decently enough but there are several story elements that don’t really fit a Garfield story. The filmmakers meant well enough with a completely unsubtle message about corporate greed but this was not the kind of movie to do something like that. There are some legitimately funny gags, but the overall effect is held back by a story that just barely works. Sure, it’s Garfield, it doesn’t have to be fancy, but it definitely feels like they could’ve put more into the story than what we got.

That being said, the film does get a few things right, primarily with all the homages to the numerous gags that Garfield has become known for over the years. This includes a montage of Mondays and all the reasons Garfield hates that day so much. There’s also a number of Easter eggs scattered throughout the film that fans of the comic strip will no doubt enjoy spotting.

Beyond that…there’s not much else that can be said without treading over the same point: The Garfield Movie, while cute, is not nearly as good as it could have been. This is a film that all ages could’ve enjoyed, but the way it turned out only kids will genuinely love it.

The Garfield Movie
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Becky O'Brien
Armed with a PhD. in Musicology, Becky loves to spend their time watching movies and playing video games, and listening to the soundtracks of both whenever they have the time. Can usually be seen writing for Cinelinx though they also do a bit of work for Screen Age Wasteland too. Their favorite superheroes are Batwoman and Spider-Gwen.
the-garfield-movie-is-cute-but-couldve-been-much-more-reviewWhile The Garfield Movie is visually cute with a decent premise, it doesn't work nearly as well as it should. Longtime fans of Garfield will be disappointed, though young kids will definitely have fun with this story. It's not a complete waste of time but there's no incentive to watch this film for a second time.