Boasting a wafer-thin plot, this new, unasked-for feature length Top Cat: The Movie 3D movie sees beloved Officer Dibble in line for a promotion to Chief of Police, only to have it snatched from under his nose by Strickland, a candidate for cinema’s most irritating villain.
Fixated with technology, the dastardly Strickland uses computers and robots to force Manhattan into a state of surveillance-hell, complete with curfews and fines for wearing a hat in public. Naturally, it falls to Top Cat to save the day.
Heroically unfunny, the lame script is one of many sticking points. Awkward, clunky and predictable, it propels the film forward at a pace that manages to be both deathly slow and annoyingly jumpy. Throw in some blatant racist stereotyping – revolving around a storyline based on an original, 1961 episode of Top Cat, just to show how far it’s come – a joke about prison rape and an apparent gag about Windows Vista and we're plumbing surreal depths of bad here.
But let's not stop there. The visuals are utterly horrendous. The only point of relief in the entire enterprise is that the characters themselves retain an old school Hanna-Barbera sheen, with barely-perceptible changes from the vintage designs. Top Cat and his gang, along with Officer Dibble, are exactly as they should be.
However, the backdrops, which appear to be the sole justification for this 3D refit, are reminiscent of your average Nintendo 64 game circa 1999. The hand drawn characters fuse so badly with the scenery that it often gives the impression Top Cat et al are levitating in the vague area of a trash can or a moving vehicle.
Yet, behind the veneer of old, familiar Hanna-Barbera, this is an offensively pointless rehash of potentially decent material. The lure of 3D effects turn bad writing into an aesthetic horrorshow that is best avoided at all costs.
It sounded pretty sketchy, but it was familiar territory. How bad could it possibly be?
Soul-crushingly bad, apparently...
90 minutes consigned to oblivion. Cheers Top Cat.