25 October 2003 | Eric-1226
This movie had me wagging my tail
I actually thought the movie was pretty good. But first let me emphasize, that it really helps if you come to this film with no other preconceived notion other than that it is intended as a rather light, perhaps kid- or family-oriented sort of entertainment. It never set out to be a "Schindler's List" or a "Gone With the Wind". But it still delivers some quality goods.
I thought the film had some quality film-making behind it. The cinematography was just fine, the setting was beautiful (filmed in and around beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia - a city I've been lucky enough to visit more than once in my life), and the actors were all (to me, anyway) quite likable and enjoyable in their roles.
David Arquette, whom you wouldn't ordinarily consider a comic, in fact does surprisingly well with the physical and often-times slapstick humor in the film. Michael Clark Duncan is really the sympathetic character here, playing a HUGE (and highly muscular) FBI agent who has an almost over-the-top attachment to the dog. The kid, played by Angus T. Jones, is really quite adorable, in fact I was surprised at how winning a personality he has (I don't always like child actors, sometimes they can be horrendous brats, but this kid was truly exceptional). The kid's mom, Stephanie, played by Leslie Bibb, was also quite charming (and always good to look at, even when she was covered in mud). Anthony Anderson, whom many of you may remember as Jamaal Baileygates (one of Jim Carrey's sons in "Me, Myself and Irene") was extremely likable, and I was glad to see him in a role where he was not required to resort to vulgar language like he did in "Me, Myself and Irene".
Other roles in the film were also very well played. And last but not least, let's not forget the dog himself, who was at least as compelling as any or all of the other members of the cast. How they trained the dog to do some of those stunts that he did is way beyond me!
This movie will probably best be enjoyed by families with young kids, and also by dog-lovers, as this film definitely made man's best friend look really, really good (in spite of the fact that they had about a whole five minute sequence devoted to the hilarious consequences of someone stepping in dog-doo at precisely the wrong time...).
So if you want a thoroughly enjoyable light comedy with a dog theme, go rent it: you won't be barking up the wrong tree, I guarantee it.