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Furry friends and foes.

CATS AND DOGS: THE REVENGE OF KITTY GALORE (U, 82 mins) Starring: Chris O'Donnell, Jack McBrayer and featuring the voices of James Marsden, Nick Nolte, Christina Applegate, Bette Midler, Katt Williams, Sean Hayes, Neil Patrick Harris YOU just can't teach an old dog news tricks, as this belated sequel to the high-octane 2001 family comedy proves. This outing totally lacks the sense of fun that made the original film a blast and noticeably, Cats And Dogs: The Revenge Of Kitty Galore, relies on digital effects much more heavily than its predecessor including a Blofeld-esque villainess who strokes a white mouse.

Real animals performing the stunts are charming because we appreciate the effort involved in each element of the trick.

There's nothing remarkable about a pair of computer generated cat assassins performing somersaults to the whims of a team of animators.

It all starts so well with a Bond style credits sequence to the strains of Shirley Bassey's rendition of Pink's Get The Party Started.

After years in hiding, Kitty Galore (voiced by Midler) breaks cover to steal valuable technology which she needs to construct a device that will get rid of the pesky dogs once and for all.

Lou (Harris) and his covert team of canine super agents are soon on the case and they induct clumsy police dog Diggs (Marsden) into their ranks to work alongside veteran Butch (Nolte) to save the day.

A pigeon called Seamus (Williams) provides clues to Kitty Galore's dastardly plan but to defeat the mad moggy, the dogs have to join forces with agents from MEOWS (Mousers Enforcing OurWorld Safety). "Work with cats? I'd rather have worms," snarls Butch.

MEOWS agent Catherine (Applegate) and her kitty posse are equally resistant to an alliance, purring: "She's our spilled milk, we'll lick it up!" With the clock ticking until doomsday, the two species unite in the fight against Kitty's evil antics, even paying a visit to criminal master cat Mr Tinkles (Hayes) in his cell to ask him for help to get inside Kitty's twisted mind.

Cats And Dogs: The Revenge Of Kitty Galore goes through the motions, stringing together big action sequences with pun-laden dialogue.

There's no dramatic tension, not once do we believe that Kitty has a hope of realising her deranged vision. The vocal performances are flat, apart fromWilliams who quickly grates as a wise-cracking pigeon who could do us all a favour and end up baked in a pie.

The sequel screens in 3D in selected cinemas but there's nothing in Brad Peyton's film to justify the additional ticket price.

The main feature is preceded by a brand new animated short, in whichWile E Coyote attempts to get his paws on Road Runner with the help of bird seed and a bungee cord.

Needless to say, his efforts are a spectacular failure.

Tellingly, Coyote Falls packs more laughs into five minutes than the Cats And Dogs sequel musters in nearly an hour and a half.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Aug 8, 2010
Words:493
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