The very silly comedy Look Who's Talking became an unexpected hit back in 1989. Produced for less than $10 million, the movie ended up earning nearly $300 million at the box office worldwide. Much of that success can be credited to the brilliant idea to have Bruce Willis as the incongruous voice of the newborn baby Mikey. Hearing Willis wisecracking throughout the movie, much as he did in 1988's Die Hard, made it a memorable experience.
Since then, many movies have endeavored to duplicate that unexpected success by casting funny actors in comic voice roles and the latest example is on its way to the big screen this summer. Nine Lives follows a straitlaced businessman (Kevin Spacey) who somehow is trapped inside the body of his family's cat. The first trailer gives a taste of what we can expect.
Spacey is obviously more than capable of giving very funny performances — see, for example, The Ref or Horrible Bosses — and is also a terrific voice actor, as demonstrated in A Bug's Life and more recently in Moon. In Nine Lives, he's surrounded by a good cast, led by Jennifer Garner, Cheryl Hines and Christopher Walken. (In our opinion, Walken's deadpan delivery is the highlight of the trailer.) Barry Sonnenfeld directed and he also has a good resume for arch comedy, starting with The Addams Family and continuing with the Men in Black series.
Will Nine Lives live up to its promise? Based on this trailer, we're inclined to say yes. It looks like everyone is well aware of how silly it looks to have Kevin Spacey's powerful voice emerging from a meek-looking cat and the idea of a wealthy businessman having to humble himself in order to make things right with his family is quite appealing.
Nine Lives will open in theaters on August 5, 2016.