Cats ★½

Part of me wishes that this transcendently stupid boondoggle had been directed by someone more competent and less boring than Tom Hooper, someone who could have unleashed the true batshit monsterpiece potential frustratingly held somewhat in check here by Hooper’s stifling middlebrow non-style. Then again, the hollow thunk of two artless upper-crust dipshits bonking their empty heads together is an immensely satisfying sound, and the schadenfreude of watching said dipshits, who have both traditionally enjoyed great and wildly unearned success and acclaim for their work, finally buckle under the weight of their hubris is one of the chief pleasures of the film.

More significantly, though, the movie’s narcoleptic pace, unfinished effects, and practically nonexistent structure leave vast pockets of empty space for a restless audience to fill in themselves, the essential secret ingredient that separates the real-deal (i.e. unintentional) “bad” cult classics from the wannabes. And if the screening I attended is any indication, Cats is already well on its way to the Heaviside Layer of midnight-movie rebirth, the audience eagerly engaging in Rocky Horror-like backtalk and howling with infectious semi-ironic enthusiasm.

Speaking of which, S/O to the bros next to us in the back row who spent the whole movie crushing tallboys and flagrantly vaping in the theater. Those guys get it.

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