November 28, 2022

Nine Lives is a movie where Kevin Spacey is a jerk who hates cats and then gets turned into a cat so that he can learn a lesson about being a better father. It’s the kind of inane premise that could carry a movie to theaters in the 90s, but is generally restricted to low budget direct-to-dvd/Netflix movies these days. And a lot about the way this movie is shot and written does indeed feel like this should have been exclusive to Netflix. 

Nine Lives is a movie where Kevin Spacey is a jerk who hates cats and then gets turned into a cat so that he can learn a lesson about being a better father. It’s the kind of inane premise that could carry a movie to theaters in the 90s, but is generally restricted to low budget direct-to-dvd/Netflix movies these days. And a lot about the way this movie is shot and written does indeed feel like this should have been exclusive to Netflix. 

There’s a cheap hoakiness to the effects and shots. There are a lot of obvious green screens. The CGI of the cat itself is like just trying hard enough to look real that it’s weird how often it goes full cartoon. None of the is really a problem, it’s all appropriate for this kind of dumb movie. It was just surreal to see this in a theater. 

The really crazy thing about Nine Lives is actually how generally entertaining it is. Sure it’s dumb and hoakey and stupid and cheap and inane, but I had a good time. This is really a testament to the cast; not just because of their talent but also because none of them give off the air of being too good for this dumb movie. Like, I expected Kevin Spacey to be phoning it in as the voice of a CGI cat but he really doesn’t. Another key is the presence of Christopher Walken; he has a handful of legitimately great lines. 

Nine Lives has the exact quality that makes bad movies entertaining: it’s earnest. Sure, the plot makes no sense (And I mean besides the turning into a cat thing. A large portion of the plot is centered around business dealings and the movie is fucking clueless about how any of that stuff would actually work.) but that just adds to the charm. I had a surprisingly good time. 

This is a fun dumb cat movie.