Doctor Dolittle 2 is the sequel to a remake of a musical based on a book geared toward children. From the start, this movie was destined for failure.
In 1998, Eddie Murphy played the role of Dr. Dolittle, a man with the amazing ability to talk to animals. Three years later he returns to the role, but in a far inferior film.
In the first Dolittle film, Murphy dealt with a decent plot where he was nearly driven to insanity trying to block out the voices of animals. In the sequel, however, screenwriter Larry Levin simply tackled a highly overdone topic using lowbrow and unoriginal humor.
The film begins with Dr. Dolittle’s dog Lucky (Norm Macdonald) attempting to fill viewers in on what Dolittle has done since the previous film. Soon, however, an animal kingpin known as The God beaver sends two of his goons, a raccoon (Michael Rapaport) and a possum (Isaac Hayes), to bring Dolittle to his forest lair.
Dolittle discovers that evil loggers led by Jeffrey Jones (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) are destroying most of the forest, driving animals from their homes, and it is up to him to save the day. It’s a plot used countless times since the advent of Earth Day.
In order to stop the loggers from cutting down the forest, Dolittle must find a way to have the woods protected by federal law. The only way to do this, he learns, is if he locates an endangered species living in the vast acreage.
Fortunately a rare Pacific Western Bear named Ava (Lisa Kudrow) resides in the woods. Unfortunately, she is the only one around and therefore no chance exists that the species will survive, unless of course, the good Doctor can find a suitable mate.
With little effort, Dolittle finds another Pacific Western Bear named Archie (Steve Zahn). Unfortunately, Archie is a circus bear with no experience in the wild, meaning he has little chance to survive outside captivity.
Soon Dolittle finds himself in a month-long ordeal to turn Archie, who would rather spend his time singing “I will survive,” into the alpha male so he can win the love of Ava. With training sessions accompanied by the Rocky III theme song “Eye of the Tiger,” this impossible task seems more and more within reach.
Dr. Dolittle 2 simply tries to cash in on the success of the first film without giving any thought to originality in either plot or dialogue. Talking animals have been greatly overdone, and the special effects allowing them to talk are no longer cutting edge.
Though Dr. Dolittle 2 has its few moments of humor, the laughs it does manage to generate might entertain audiences under the age of 7, but hardly make it worth watching for anyone else.