Friday, June 20, 2008

Underdog - Disney rapes my childhood

Why the hell did I watch this? Because Jason Lee, Peter Dinklage, and Patrick Warburton have a lot of fun in this movie and it's a bit infectious at times. The script is pretty terrible, and strains every time it tries to reference the original cartoons. The talking dog CG is sometimes good, and sometimes looks like the Taco Bell commercials. With all the talking dogs we've been subjected to, you'd think they'd have this down pat.

It looks and feels like any old Disney movie like The Cat From Outer Space or Return to Witch Mountain, like it was shot for TV, with nice episodic scenes to stick commercials between. The jokes vary from kid stuff like pratfalls to some inappropriate innuendo that I suppose was for the adults, who'll probably be hoping their kids don't ask for explanations. So, a little Dinklage goes a long way (hehe) as Simon Barsinister, and Patrick Warburton has a lot of fun as his dopey henchman.

Jim Belushi has a thankless straight-man role as the ex-cop who adopts Underdog, which is sad, because he used to be pretty funny. He had a decent run on SNL, and I liked that comedy he did with John Ritter, Real Men. It's pretty tepid overall; Simon isn't crazy enough or have a good mad scientist scheme, and the film seems to run out of budget during the big end fight. But it's not as horrible as a Talking Dog Movie Based on a 70's Cartoon Made to Sell Cereal could be.

The music is physically revolting over-produced Disney garbage that may rot your brain if you don't turn it off fast enough, because yes, they do use a sample of "Who Let the Dogs Out" for the end credits.

"Sugar or Plain" from 1983, Jim Belushi actually being funny.

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