First up, its not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Frankly I think either I'm a closet furry or just seen too much fantasy and anime to be put off by the cats' designs save for a couple instances where I thought the green screen had failed them.
This said, while it had moments it didn't quite do it for me. Also they added elements, namly none singing elements to flesh out the story, and changed some characters so if you are a fan of the musical, hold your torches and pitchforks until after the review.
The story starts with Victoria, a white and grew spotted cat that had just been abandoned and gets invited to join a clan of cats called the Jellicos. They also invite her to the Jellico Ball where one can has the chance to be reborn itno the life they always wanted.
So what works: the sets work, and for the most parts the costumes work. Yes I said it, bite me.
For the obvious, Jennifer Hudson owns her part. She probably had the hardest part in the film to portray the sorrow, regreets, and humiliation that was the embodiment of Grizaabella, and she did complete with the ugly cry (not the pretty on you usualy see in films but with actual tears and snot).
Ian McCallen does well playing a senile cat that is past his prime but continues to do what he does because he likes doing it.
Francesca Hayward plays Victoria, and shows off her ballerina skills to work and shows off a gentle naivete.
Robbi Fairchild is one the best designed charecters int he film.
And Dame Judi Dench is Dame Judi Dench, she will get an Oscar because Dame Judi Dench.
Even the tap dancing railroad cat had a bit of fun whimsy to it.
Areas I'm kinda in the middle of:
is Mestopholies. He's more confident in the origional musical, but he takes on a bumbling magician for the most part until he gets his confidence. Not sure how to place it, but design adn acting wise he was good.
Taylor Swift gets a good villian song and while well designed, she plays up the evil is sexy bit complete with chimme. She's not the only cat lady with noticeable breasts, but most of the other female cast either don't have them and or not as not prominent in their character design by and large, and her and her fellow bad kitteys are getting flack largly because they are more noticeable. Not sure how I feel, but she's a good performer when she wants to be and she can sing.
What does not work:
Some of Rebel Wilson's antics I found amusing, and as a big person am impressed with some of her physical capabilities in her humor, but she's not quite Criss Farly in the funny department.
Jason Derillo...so this is why he's autotuned to death. His design dosn't quite work either.
I have to say the worse is Ibris Elba. While he has some cool moments, he is underutilized. Sorry folks, but Black Superman her needs to be used more often and at least have get in a fight. The stage production gets that much, and as both a Shaskpearian level performer and a potent physical actor, they needed to use him more.
So, not as bad as it could have been, but not as good as it thinks it is