Judi Dench in Cats.

So, as Cats started, I was actually liking it a bit. It looked weird as hell, and I could tell the cast was singing live on set—which I admire. But, after about five minutes, a malaise started to sink in that never lifted.

That malaise is due mainly to the fact that this musical sucks to begin with. No amount of CGI wizardry (which, sadly, this film doesn’t have) can save this blight on humanity. The music is god awful, except for a brief interlude during which a beautiful melody sticks out like a sore thumb—that would be “Beautiful Ghosts,” a song co-written by Taylor Swift that is actually good. They should’ve let Taylor rewrite the whole damn thing. She actually shows up for a brief stretch toward the end of the movie, a life preserver in a sea of shit that, unfortunately, is snatched away before you can really grab onto it.

Judi Dench stars as the apparent overseer of some sort of America’s Got Talent for felines. (I really have no idea what was going on in this movie.) The weirdness of the visuals, combined with the slog pacing and shitty music, will have you thinking you have a bad case of cat-scratch fever, or perhaps somebody dropped acid into your Coke Zero.

Apparently, there’s a new version out there with some fixed visuals. I saw the original version. Readers, I love you, but there is no way I am subjecting myself to this a second time.

Cats is now playing at theaters across the valley.