Well I would have lost money on that bet...I went to see this because the reviews were hilarious and I have Regal unlimited and it didn't cost me any extra money. It is both somehow so much worse and so much better than I could have ever imagined.
I said the quote above never ever in a million years thinking they would have tap-dancing cockroaches in a mainstream big budget movie. My jaw just about hit the floor when I saw them. In fact I figured despite the horrific CGI that the movie would retool Cats in a pretty significant way, tone down the weirdness of the musical and give it an actual plot and probably make it pretty boring. Well they certainly did none of those things. I mean it doesn't make it a good movie, but it makes it an experience for sure.
I agree with Lindsey Ellis that the Old Grumby Cat sequence was one of the most disturbing things from the start. First of all there were several lingering shots of Rebel Wilson's crotch...Why? I have no idea. Then come the mice, which weren't super horrifying until you realize they're played by children and Jenny threatens to eat them...That's right folks, Rebel Wilson threatens to eat small children. The the travesty continues with the tap dancing cockroaches...which she does eat (though mercifully they are played by adults). It's got to be one the most trippy, weird, off-putting sequences ever put to film.
I will give them the CGI is slightly less disturbing then it was in the trailer. I mean it's not good, but it's no longer the stuff of nightmares. And I will give everyone who wasn't a big name star props for going full cat. I mean they look like theater students who's instructor made them do animal exercises, but they did commit. Everyone who was a big name star seemed to forget they were in a movie where they were playing a cat...Except perhaps Sir Ian. Judy Dench certainly did. Jennifer Hudson (who did sing the hell out of Memory), seems to have no idea that's she's supposed to be playing a cat, she even looks slightly confused when Dench goes to touch heads with her at the end. I think they forgot to tell her she was actually in Cats, and just asked her if she could swing by and sing a couple songs. Rebel Wilson and James Cordon, simply appear to be in the SNL skit version of Cats. And the less said about Idris Elba the better. I've loved him since he was Stringer Bell in the Wire, but he was bad in this, really really bad. And not really in a fun way.
I agree that Taylor Swift did the best musical number (and of the big names looked most like a cat). Though it seemed and odd choice to make her sing in a British accent, which you only hear on certain words anyway. I get it was set in London, but why ask her if you're going to make her do something so out of her wheelhouse. I didn't hear an accent with Derulo.
I will also give major props to Francesca Hayward who not only danced her butt off, but has a beautiful singing voice. I hope this gets her work in an actually good musical.
This is not a good movie, I repeat this is a very bad movie, but it is fun. And if you have the money to waste (or a rewards card or the like) you should see it in theaters, just to say you did.