Let me be direct about this: I gave "Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore" a half-star because it contains cute animals and, at the end, there are entertaining clips of animals that aren't in the movie.

How I wish the clips had been the entire film. As it is, this is "humor" at its worst. It's a show aimed at kids but inspired by references, inserted for grownups, to decades-old movies ranging from "Scarface" to James Bond to "Silence of the Lambs."

Maybe the movie was written that way so Grandma and Grandpa could be entertained while the tykes take in the animals. Grandparents and parents would be far wiser to take the kids to "Despicable Me," "Toy Story 3" or "Ramona and Beezus," all perfectly intelligent, enjoyable films showing right now.

This is mostly a Bond-inspired movie that throws in a little of the "Lethal Weapon" shows, too. It continues a plot line from the original film to focus on the battle between cats and dogs.

Diggs (voice of James Marsden) is a K-9 officer who flubs a hostage situation that ends up in an explosion. His handler (Chris O'Donnell) is forced to take the dog to a kennel, where Diggs figures he will remain. After all, he was brought to a kennel when he was a puppy, and now it appears that he has once again been abandoned.

Another dog, Butch (Nick Nolte) is working undercover to catch criminal mastermind Kitty Galore (Bette Midler), who has high-tech plans that could result in her dominion of the entire world. Butch rescues Diggs from the pound and introduces him to the undercover environment that's sort of a canine version of slick espionage settings.

Now that both dogs and cats realize how dangerous Kitty Galore is, they also begin to determine that they must work together - horror of horrors - to stop her vile scheme. So a cat named Catherine (Christina Applegate) and a pigeon (Katt Williams) join the team that's hunting down Kitty. Mr. Tinkles (Sean Hayes) is back as an imprisoned Hannibal Lecter type.

This is a bunch of silliness that is enhanced by CGI and 3-D. It's a lot of noise, bright colors and motion, but very little is going on, and, yes, there's the obligatory carnival scene that's become a staple of bad movies.

Get the Weekender Newsletter

Plan your weekend with our hand-picked list of the Quad Cities' best bets for entertainment.

For a better time, buy your cat, dog or bunny a treat and enjoy the afternoon with them. You'll both have fun that way.