Holy shit you guys, I can’t sleep. And it’s not because of the usual hour and a half of speed-metal and narcotics I insist on taking every night before I go to sleep (the tremors from the drugs actually help rock me to sleep), it’s because I just watched Kevin Spacey’s switching-bodies-with-a-cat movie Nine Lives, which most surprisingly, is a thing that exists at all, and second-most surprisingly, not a comedy as billed. No, this is some dark, Lynchian-level shit.
Now, most of you probably haven’t seen this movie; it made less than $20 million and is currently sitting at 11% on Rotten Tomatoes, a score which could probably be beaten by most home-birthing videos. But I encourage you to watch it. Because I apparently hate you.
Like, I wasn’t kidding about not being able to sleep. I am sitting here, at two in the morning, scrawling an article about a Kevin Spacey cat movie like a crazy person, instead of sleeping, because I can’t sleep. Because of the movie.
This is a children’s film. Do you know how many suicide jokes are considered “chill” in movies geared at people who still haven’t even had their faces scarred by acne?
Here, I’ll explain.
The Main Character is Evil as Shit
So, this is one of those “douchebag needs to learn a lesson” sort of body switching comedies, and in this movie that douchebag is played by Kevin Spacey with unconvincingly dyed white hair. He plays billionaire cock-shit Tom Brand, owner of the company Firebrand. What does Firebrand do? Fuck you, that’s what. It’s not important.
What is important is that he’s a cock-shit to his employees. He’s a cock-shit to his wife. He’s a cock-shit to his son. He’s a cock-shit to his daughter who is so incessantly sweet and innocent that you honestly start to hate her pretty quickly. Though he forgets her birthday (apparently every year before this, as well), which would be bad enough on its own, but he owns a smart phone (he’s almost always using it), and those things can be set to give you reminders of important things. Like your own children’s birthdays. So he didn’t just forget the birthday, he forgot to even make a note about it at any time of the year before it. So that’s pretty cool.
The first time we see him he’s being an ass before jumping out of a plane. He has a parachute so he’s fine. I actually would have given this movie a perfect ten out of ten if he just died right there and the rest of the movie was just people mourning. Dark, sure, but totally unexpected.
Anyway, he survives, and goes on to find out that one of the other people in the company (his name doesn’t matter to you and certainly not to me) had been trying to sort-of sell the company and let it be publicly traded behind his back during the skydiving thing. This is actually a great idea for the company (and Brand himself) because they would all make billions (this is spelled out clearly in the movie), and wouldn’t have a chance for Brand to ruin the company with his ego.
Which he is. Constantly.
He spent billions building a tower with his name on it and wants to spend more to make it bigger once he finds out it won’t be the biggest in the northern hemisphere. Brand literally tells the board that his personal legacy is more important than anyone at the company making money. The company that presumably has thousands and thousands of employees whose livelihoods depend on him not being a fart-soul.
One of those employees is his son from his first marriage… I’ll just mention the part in the movie where the son says he was “waiting his entire life for some sign of approval” from his father. That should sum up their relationship pretty succinctly, for you.
So yeah, he’s a turd, and the movie makes it clear that his turdness is not something new. He’s been turdy his entire life. He does nothing to warrant sympathy.
Anyway, he forgets to buy his daughter a gift. She wants a cat. He hates cats. He calls a board meeting to decide on what to get for her (seriously). It’s eventually decided he should get her a cat. Go figure. He goes to a cat shop owned by Christopher Walken. It’s fucking terrifying. I can’t really do it justice by describing it, but try to think of something Lovecraft might have described had he been forced to spend a large chunk of his life living with an aunt who really liked cats. It’s something like that.
I’m also pretty well convinced that Walken has never actually acted before. That’s just how he is.
Brand buys a cat from Walken (his characters don’t have names. There is only Walken) and then through a series of pretty stupid events (even for a body switching comedy), Brand gets put in a coma, but his mind is put in a cat. And he hates cats. Comedy?
So yeah, he needs to learn a lesson about being a better person before he will be put in his body again, and we get to watch three separate scenes where Catven Spacey pees on or in things. Yes, I counted. You’re welcome.
Everyone Else is Also Evil as Shit
I mentioned the guy whose name doesn’t matter at all trying to sell the company, and how that’s actually a good idea. It is. Good on you for that, NameGuy. But then there’s everything else he does that makes him evil as the devil’s own herpes.
I already feel like this article is dangerously close to being the sort of rambling that will one day be used as evidence against me in some sort of trial, so I’ll just go ahead and skip to the worst thing he does.
The timeline of this movie is a bit sketchy, but the events depicted seem to take place over a week or two (because we weren’t very far away from the opening of the tower when the movie starts, and the film ends just after the tower opens). Keep this in mind, it will be important in a minute.
So NameGuy wants Kevin Spacey dead, because if Brand wakes up from the coma, then a fat slap from his big swinging 51% majority stake (in the company, that is) is the only thing that can legally stop NameFace from selling the company and making everyone rich. So he actually goes to Brand’s wife and tries to get her to pull the plug on him after like, a fucking week.
Seriously. Kids movie.
And the fucked up thing? She actually tries to do it (albeit of her own volition) a bit later in the movie. I am not a doctor, and I don’t want to give anyone who knows people who are in a coma any false hope…but…like, wait til more than one new episode of Westworld comes out before pulling the plug on your own husband? Maybe?
So yeah, everyone else is evil too, other than the wife and daughter. The ex-wife is the laziest sort of screenwriting crutch. She’s shrill and shitty and gets bombed on martinis at a birthday party for eleven year olds. Which…yeah, I would do, too, but that’s why I’m generally not allowed to those sorts of affairs. The Shrew-Beast of a first wife has a daughter (from a new husband) and she’s Satan. She actually photographs Brands daughter crying and posts it to Instagram or whatever. Yup.
Also, random background characters are evil. Like, there are two security guards who are in Brand Tower at the grand opening, who, when confronted with what they (correctly) believe to be the cat from a viral video they are watching (which was posted on an eleven year old’s Instagram or Facebook, which wait a minute, WHY WERE THEY SUBSCRIBED TO THAT) their immediate reaction is to film themselves trying to taze the cat. Even if that wasn’t an actual crime. Which it is, they would still immediately piss off the entire internet that they’re trying to “break” because as they demonstrated by being two idiots giggling at cat videos during the grand opening of the biggest building in the city that it is their job to guard the internet really likes cat videos, and would probably be upset about them tazing a cat.
So everyone in this movie is syphilis.
3. The Movie Constantly Jokes About Suicide
This is a children’s film. For children. Do you know how many direct suicide jokes are usually considered “chill” in movies geared at people who still haven’t even had their faces scarred by acne?
The number for that is usually zero, but this movie takes a bold stance by eschewing that traditional mindset and instead deciding “Hell with it. Them little shits gotta learn sometime. Amirite?”
But it’s not just occasional, fairly serious remarks that the film makes. No, it’s that the final act of this movie revolves around Catty McSpaceyCat thinking that his own son is going to kill himself by jumping off of a building. What the fuck, movie?
So it turns out that the son is just BASE-jumping off of the building (he has a parachute) to “prove he’s a man” (whatever the fuck that means) but the fact remains that the final edge-of-your-seat-action part of this kid’s movie revolves around the main character thinking the child he neglected his whole life is going to kill himself.
So we get a scene where the cat jumps off after the son. The cat doesn’t have a parachute, but apparently this is the sacrificial act that Kevin Brand Spacey Cat needed to do in order to fulfill Christopher Walken’s requirements, and he’s put back in his normal body, and we are mercifully spared a scene where we have to watch a confused ground crew scrape a perfectly two-dimensional cat off of the ground. In fact, the cat is fine, because…
4. Christopher Walken Might Be God
In the movie they call him a “Cat Whisperer,” which might actually be a cute profession if it was performed by anyone other than Christopher Walken. But regardless of what they call him (and his ability to talk to cats) he clearly shows that he knows things about characters in the movie that he couldn’t know, even by talking to cats.
So even if he’s not omnipresent, he can at the very least read minds. And also put people inside of cats. And control if they die or not. Let me explain.
It is shown very clearly that as soon as Space Cat leaves Walkens shop, Walken has decided to put him in the cat. Magic. So, the trailer for this film makes it look like the change happens from a lightning strike. Not true. Kevin Cat does get lightninged a bit while on top of a building during a thunderstorm (yeah, sure, why not), but that’s not what changes him. He’s actually thrown almost off the side of the building, where he clutches on (with the cat) desperately, and begs for his life from the only other guy on the building (who doesn’t help him. Kid’s movie).
He then falls, but because of the cat cage, manages to catch a beam and swing in through a window (which wouldn’t actually have broken. Skyscraper windows are damn near unbreakable). And then he’s knocked out. And when he wakes up, BAM! Cat city.
So yeah, Walken wasn’t around for any of that, so he’s a god of some sort who can transfer consciousnesses from across great distances. And apparently, this was all part of his plan. So he controlled that. Totally cray, yeah?
Also, this god keeps a shop full of his victims. Or at least a shop partially composed of his victims. You see, Kevin Cat Fart McMovie Cat is warned by Walken that if doesn’t get his shit together in time, he will stay a cat forever (because his actual body, in a coma, went brain dead! Kid’s movie). As a cat, he comes back to the shop and some of the other cats there tell him it’s not so bad (both being a cat, and being at the shop), and while it’s never explicitly said that most of these cats were humans at any point, we know that at least one of them was, and likely more.
At the end of the movie, the “bad guy” NameFace is trying to get away, and is hit by an car (that I’m pretty sure was summoned by Walken) and is either dead or put into a coma (the movie doesn’t say). Either way, his mind gets put in a cat, too. And we see this cat at the shop during one of the last scenes, so we know it’s him. The human. Who’s trapped in a cat’s body and forced to live in a cat shop because that’s where the only human/deity who can speak to him lives.
And if you think it might be a different cat, hell no. The cat they use to play him is my favorite cat in the world. The internet’s own Lil Bub. Throw up a picture of Lil Bub:
There. No mistaking that cat for any other cat. Shit, that cat is cute. So yeah, Walken apparently keeps a store full of trophies.
And yeah, I could ramble on about all the other weird shit in this movie, like the scene where we watch a cat get shitfaced drunk, the suspected cheating, the child endangerment and so on, but I’ve already spent well over 2,000 words at well past two in the morning screaming about a Kevin Spacey movie. I would say that perhaps now I can finally find rest, but I think I know that I will never truly rest again, having seen this movie.
So yup…go watch it and tell me what you think.