Another Shaggy Dog Story
As is always the case when Disney decide to remake one of their popular family movies from the 50s or 60s there is objection from those who love the original. In fairness I have moaned about this as well before I accepted it and just saw it as Disney trying to deliver old favourites for a new generation who will find the old movie corny. With that in mind and the fact that the Tim Allen lead version of "The Shaggy Dog" is made for a young, pre-teen audience I have to say it kind of works with obvious but amusing comedy for children. Whether it works for grown ups is another matter as it offers up little for those over 15.
Assistant D.A. Dave Douglas (Tim Allen - Christmas with the Kranks) is in the middle of a big trial as he prosecutes a teacher who set fire to a laboratory where they do animal testing. That brings him into conflict with his daughter who along with many others support the teacher, that is when he is at home as his work has been dominated by work. When his daughter brings home an escaped 300 year old dog which scientist Dr. Kozak (Robert Downey Jr. - A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints) had been experimenting on Dave gets bit and over night starts to display dog like tendencies which begin to affect his work as he starts growling during trial.
When you've watched a few Disney movies you find yourself finding them becoming weak and obvious because they often trade on similar jokes and set ups. That is part of the problem with "The Shaggy Dog" as here we are served up another movie where we have a workaholic father who has started to be a lousy husband and dad because of his devotion to his career. That is not the only issue as once again we have an evil scientist who does animal testing, seemingly another favourite in Disney world. Now for grown ups that makes "The Shaggy Dog" nothing more than routine but fun for young children who won't have already grown up on similar movies.
But "The Shaggy Dog" does have a fundamental problem because whilst we have some fun scenes as Dave starts to be inflicted by dog habits when he transforms into a dog what we have is well trained dog and Tim Allen's voice which is not as entertaining. It is a shame as watching Tim Allen cock a leg like a dog, drive along with his head out of the window and much more is fun and in many ways the best part of the movie. But after that it struggles to have the same impact although again I am sure that children will find the antics of a well trained dog entertaining. So okay there is a twist to this when it comes to a side effect but it just doesn't work
Aside from Tim Allen's fun performance the only other entertaining performance comes from Robert Downey Jr. who as Dr. Kozak has plenty of amusing ticks. What is a shame is that the rest of the cast which includes Kristin Davis and Philip Baker Hall end up criminally under used.
What this all boils down to is that this remake of "The Shaggy Dog" is fine entertainment for a young audience who would find the original corny but it lacks something for adults who find themselves watching it.
Tags: Dog Movies