The Shaggy Dog

The Shaggy Dog

1.5 out of 5 1.5 out of 5 1.5 out of 5 1.5 out of 5 1.5

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PETA members may take to The Shaggy Dog. Everyone else over the age of 10, however, will likely prefer a night of sniffing butts to this latest Tim Allen stinker, a lazy remake of Disney’s 1959 kids’ film that follows the travails of deputy district attorney Dave Douglas (Allen) after he’s bitten by a magical 300-year-old Tibetan sheepdog and begins uncontrollably transforming into a hairy canine. As a dog, Douglas comes to realize that he’s a lousy absentee husband to wife Rebecca (Kristin Davis) and father to activist daughter Carly (Zena Grey) and theater-loving, football-hating son Josh (Spencer Breslin), the latter of whose Grease adoration marks him as the Mouse House’s wishy-washy attempt to surreptitiously insert a gay character into a “family friendly” film. And as the star dutifully performs the script’s checklist of doggie affectations—peeing with his leg raised, lapping cereal straight from the bowl, chasing a cat, scratching himself—Brian Robbins’s anthropomorphic adventure proves itself to be about as inventive and intricate as a bowl of Purina. Of course, this new Shaggy Dog‘s primary contribution to cinema history is simply its reconfirmation of the age-old fact that cash rules everything in Hollywood, as there’s seemingly no non-monetary explanation for how a thinly conceived project such as this could attract the likes of Allen, Davis, Danny Glover (as Allen’s perturbed boss), and Robert Downey Jr. (as an evil scientist using Dr. Moreau-style animal testing to achieve the fountain of youth). Watching stars slum their way to a big payday is wearying, but it’s not nearly as objectionable as enduring a story that steadfastly seeks one-dimensionality, its characters little more than sketchily defined types and its dilemmas so phony and facile that resolution comes as easily as saying “I love you” and “I’m sorry.” Then again, I guess you’d have to be crazed with rabies to expect even a modicum of imaginative entertainment from a remake that advertises itself with a phonetically challenged tagline like “Raise the Woof!”

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DVD | Soundtrack
Distributor
Walt Disney Pictures
Runtime
98 min
Rating
PG-13
Year
2006
Director
Brian Robbins
Screenwriter
Jack Amiel, Michael Begler, Geoff Rodkey, Cormac Wibberley, Marianne Wibberley
Cast
Tim Allen, Kristin Davis, Zena Grey, Spencer Breslin, Danny Glover, Philip Baker Hall, Robert Downey Jr.