OK, my disclaimer here is that I've seen all the DoLittle movies now, because they're safe and my son loves animal movies and I figure there could be worse things to watch (like Garfield the movie, oh lord don't get me started...) And I actually didn't mind DoLittle 1. DoLittle 2 wasn't so great but at least it had Eddie Murphy in it, and the man knows funny. OK wasn't his funniest movie by a long shot, but at least he's animated. By DoLittle 3 I was pretty tired of the franchise and I think it definitely lost a big something with Murphy's departure. Everyone says how 'cute' Kyra/ Maya (?is that her name) is but I just find her yawn yawn yawn. Well, it still wasn't the worst thing to have to watch. Guess what was? Yep, DoLittle 4. Finally hit the almost bottom of the barrel (ok that's reserved for Garfield the movie - and before you tell me Garfield 2 the movie is worse, I DON'T want to know - have hidden the DVD in the cupboard and am hoping the 6 yr old doesn't remember we haven't seen it yet and start asking questions)
So I suppose I should review this movie huh, after all that preamble? Well my 6 yr old laughed at the monkey, and he was right - the monkey had the best scenes in the movie (and even he was under par this time). And I guess Mr. 6 laughed at a few other of the animal scenes too, so at least one of us was happy. But I found the animals in this movie painful (especially the wallaby, and Lucky the dog was particularly subpar this time). Anyway let's face it, Mr. 6 is at that age of no discerning taste in movies whatsoever.
So Maya has come to the end of high school and wants to go to college to a vet school that has her Dad's name and endowment, but has been getting crappy grades and the review panel is unimpressed - they put her on a waiting list. Already by this point I'm annoyed by the sheer laziness of the writer/ director -no explanation for why she no longer has a sister, or why the very promising boyfriend she had at the end of the last movie is no longer on the scene, or why her Dad no longer lives with them (ok he's 'off in Antarctica' this time but there was no explanation for why he was no longer around in the previous film in which Mommy was flirting with Maya's boyfriend's Dad, so clearly they are actually no longer together - why not just say so??), or why the college doesn't just accept her because ?hello?! SHE CAN TALK TO ANIMALS - who needs good grades when you have that advantage over, um, every single other person in the world (except for Daddy). And who needs good grades when your Dad OWNS the school?!? Whatever, movies can be implausible right? Suspension of belief right? OK sure, if there is a theme/ point to it. But this movie requires you to constantly ignore gaping plot holes and inconsistencies for no reason other than the writers' laziness. Everything about this movie just felt so incredibly cheap and lazy.
Maya needs to show the school she's got the goods, and luckily enough who happens to swing by needing some help but the President's staff, hoping Daddy can cure the First Dog who has gone rogue. As Daddy is AWOL, Maya fits the bill for the job, and is whisked away to the white house without so much as a security check to meet the President and go camping with him and his daughter for the week to work on the dog. Maya isn't at all phased about meeting the President, it's like she's greeting her taxi driver.
Now, I want to know, what's up with every adult character in this franchise after DoLittle 2 being a single parent? Ms DoLittle, the Dad in the last movie, and now the President (no explanation ever given). Not that I have any problem with it, I just find it weird... Anyway so they all go to the ranch, which is actually an animal conservation ranch as the President is a knowledgeable conservationist (convenient plot device!). There's some ridiculous story about saving a forest and a bunch of animals, which is not only ill-explained but also a bit of a lazy rehash of the DoLittle 2 plot. The First Dog story is also pathetic, lazy and dealt with in clichés. The 'romance' isn't a romance at all and similarly dealt with in a pathetic way - despite the cute boy seeming to have no romantic interest in Maya, his girlfriend is absurdly rude to Maya right off the bat for no reason whatsoever other than a silly attempt to provide an atmosphere of drama.... As if in the professional environment of the Presidency a staffer could get away with being outright hostile to the President's latest favourite go-to girl? And then all of a sudden she realises her mistake and that Maya is actually cool and they are all friends. No explanation for this sudden and clunky change of heart.
Oh god why am I writing this essay?? I was clearly damaged by the experience of having to sit through this movie. I won't continue.
2 words: excruciating and lazy
(But I guess at least it's 'safe' viewing for kids if that's what you're looking for - no swearing or inappropriate sexual references at all. And at least it's not Garfield!).