DOLITTLE

Cert PG Stars 2

Robert Downey Jr. sets sail in this haphazard and underwhelming family adventure as the doctor who talks to the animals, but unlike Rex Harrison in the 1967 mega-flop musical version, he doesn’t sing to them.

In search of a long lost island containing a medicine for the severely ill young queen Victoria, the American actor looks badly dubbed as he speaks to his animal crew in a mostly Welsh accent, while pursued by dastardly rival Michael Sheen, a genuine Welshman using an English accent.

Rewrites and reshoots delayed the release by eight months and pushed the budget up to a reported £135m, with extra scenes crowbarred in at the expense of the screen time of Downey’s grief-stricken widower.

At least it looks an expensive movie, even if all the extra work can’t prevent the story and tone from being a dog’s dinner. But little kids won’t care as they’ll be occupied by the cartoon humour of the talking CGI animals, and the chases, fights, and fart jokes.