Dolittle: 17 Thoughts I Had While Watching the Trailer

Dept. of Sneaks and Peeks


1. This should be interesting. Robert Downey Jr. hasn’t been the lead in a non-Marvel movie since The Judge in 2014. I can’t wait to see if he remembers how to play someone other than Tony Stark.

2. It looks like Universal has chosen to drop the “Dr.” from Dolittle. I’m not sure that’s wise. I’ve always felt that the “Dr.” added credibility to the claim that he could converse with fauna.

“I can talk to animals.”
“Whatever man. You’re crazy.”
“I’m Dr. Dolittle!”
“Ooo. A doctor you say?”

3. The trailer opens with the big, bold claim of being “from the producer of Alice in Wonderland and Maleficent”. That’s laser-targeted to all the parents wondering if this thing has a good enough pedigree before subjecting their children to it. It’s also a cunning way for Universal to say: “Hey look, we’ve made a Disney movie!”

4. Good God. RDJ is doing an accent. Look out boys and girls, here comes Sherlock Dolittle: Pet Detective!

5. Why, oh why do these CGI animals look so much like CGI animals? Did no one making this movie watch The Jungle Book? Or The Lion King?

6. 00:01:02 – “You can talk to animals?” No shit, Sherlock. Heh.

Robert Downey Jr. is Dolittle in Dolittle.

7. Seriously. What is this accent? Is it supposed to be Welsh?

8. Everyone in this trailer is mugging for the camera. RDJ is mugging. Antonio Banderas is mugging. That big ape is mugging. Even the dragon is mugging.

9. Yes. There. Is. A. Dragon.

10. Why the fuck is there a dragon?

11. Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen, Emma Thompson, Rami Malik, John Cena, Kumail Nanjiani, Octavia Spencer, Tom Holland, Craig Robinson, Ralph Fiennes, Selena Gomez, and Marion Cotillard. Just how much did they pay all of these people to be in this movie? I mean, Rami Malik just won an Oscar for Chrissakes. Is someone holding Lucy Boynton hostage?

12. #FreeLucyBoynton

13. Wait. This thing is directed by Stephen Gaghan? The guy who won an Oscar for writing Traffic? They guy who wrote and directed Syriana?

14. The tone of this trailer is somewhat bewildering. Set to Reuben and the Dark’s lets-do-a-really-slow-and-wistful-cover of “What a Wonderful World”, the trailer seems to imply some grand globe-trotting adventure, but RDJ’s ridiculous accent and the CGI animals’ uninspired one-liners make this feel like a Saturday afternoon matinee from the Disney Channel.

15. I’m not sure it’s a good sign that we barely see Robert Downey Jr. in this trailer. You have the world’s biggest movie star in your movie and you DON’T fill your two minutes and twenty-two seconds with all-RDJ-all-the-time. What’s up with that?

16. I’m not sure it’s a good sign that Universal decided to relegate a 175-million-dollar movie to January. That’s usually where studios dump things like The Grudge.

17. Can a movie star like RDJ still put bums on seats if he’s not in a Marvel movie? In a post-Avengers world, that’s pretty much the one question studios want answered. I guess we’ll find out on January 23.

Uma has been reviewing things for most of his life: movies, television shows, books, video games, his mum's cooking, Bahir's fashion sense. He is a firm believer that the answer to most questions can be found within the cinematic canon. In fact, most of what he knows about life he learned from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. He still hasn't forgiven Christopher Nolan for the travesties that are Interstellar and The Dark Knight Rises.

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