Overview: A helpless momma’s boy runs into some trouble when his cat is murdered. Seine Pictures; Not Rated; 96 minutes.

Insensitive: Murder of a Cat is a hapless mess from the onset. Shortly after we meet the main character, Clinton Moisey (Fran Kranz), the cat is murdered. The whole matter is conducted in a deeply insensitive manner.  While I’m deathly allergic to cats, and I’m not a particularly sensitive man (well, maybe a little), the way in which everything was handled served as a shock to even my sensibilities. With that said, this film commits thereafter to continue down a road of misery. The dialogue is an impossible mess as the characters offer senseless exchanges.  The characters swear often and unnaturally, sounding like a group of high school kids doing their best to sound cool. The overall tone is that of an awkward children’s movie, but the dialogue and altercations hurl the film into a confused mess. It ultimately feels more like a favor for a friend than a heartfelt attempt at entertaining an audience. Beyond the clunky dialogue and questionable script, there is clearly an overall glaring lack of quality filmmaking throughout Murder of a Cat. At its worst, the direction resembles an episode of Desperate Housewives from the 39th season, especially in regard to recycled character ideas.

Lonely: Murder of a Cat relies heavily on cheap acting and over-stylized characters.  JK Simmons deserves an Oscar this year for his performance in Whiplash. And, as out of place as he is here, he still finds a way to offer up a ather charismatic performance. Fran Kranz resembles a throwback Jamie Kennedy that lost his ability to be even minutely funny, and his love interest, Greta (Nikki Reed), offers a hollow character. Also, Greg Kinnear is in this movie.

Overall: Murder of a Cat is a confused film that does not understand its own direction. Its undying need to be unique and quirky hurts the final product, forgetting its own intentions. JK Simmons attempts to save this film from disaster, but his efforts ultimately fall short. It’s never a good feeling to cast a negative shadow on a film; I’m never happy to do so. But, through its careless production, it seems the filmmakers weren’t worried about us either.

Grade: F