The trope of the overworked businessman who has to be transformed into a cat (or dog, or bird, or snowman, or sentient coffee cup, or whatever) in order to truly understand what’s important in life (family, duh) has been visited and re-visited many times, usually in the sort of movie that comes in a brightly colored clamshell VHS case you bought at the thrift store. And now, for whatever reason, Kevin Spacey and Christopher Walken are looking to get in on that preachy, family-friendly, overtly commercial action in Nine Lives, about an overworked businessman who is transformed into a cat by the owner of a “mystical pet shop” so he can learn a valuable lesson about what’s important in life. (Family. The answer is family.)
Unlike Eric Roberts in A Talking Cat!?!, the cat’s mouth doesn’t move when Spacey delivers sardonic dialogue, which is a shame. The trailer also promises to show viewers “Kevin Spacey as you’ve never seen him before,” which is technically not true considering Spacey once played Keyboard Cat in a Jimmy Kimmel sketch.
Anyway, Nine Lives was directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and opens August 5.