Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties (Tim Hill). 84 minutes. Opens Friday (June 16). For venues and times, see Movies, page 107. Rating: NNN Rating: NNNNN
All the essential elements of Jim Davis 's comic strip are here in this follow-up to 2004's semi-hit Garfield: lasagna, an oblivious Odie, napping. But the sequel decides to take things in a different direction, making it a cross between a less sublime Babe and The Prince And The Pauper.
After Garfield (voiced by Bill Murray ) follows his owner, Jon ( Breckin Meyer ), to England, the world's laziest feline is mistaken for a cat that recently inherited a countryside castle. While Jon works up the nerve to propose to girlfriend Liz ( Jennifer Love Hewitt ), Garfield savours his reign over the estate's farm animals while trying to stop the evil Lord Dargis (a wildly over-the-top Billy Connolly ) from turning the property into a luxury resort.
Though the film revolves around Murray's smarmy one-liners, a large chunk of time is devoted to the surprisingly amusing ducks, cows and birds that populate Garfield's new kingdom. As voiced by UK actors like Richard E. Grant , Bob Hoskins and Jane Leeves , the barnyard characters steal the show from hammy Dargis and Jon's lame engagement subplot.
While the first film didn't exactly leave audiences begging for more, director Tim Hill 's follow-up is harmless, breezy fun that will make a few reluctant parents smile along with their children.