The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

The Shaggy Dog

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Judy Thorburn

The Shaggy Dog

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Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

"THE SHAGGY DOG” IS A FETCHING FAMILY FRIENDLY COMEDY

Tim Allen has proven to film audiences that he has a knack for portraying a character that finds himself undergoing an unexpected, total physical transformation. Allen’s stint in the not too long ago Santa Claus film and its sequel showed that he has the comic prowess, timing, charm and physicality required to handle that type of role. This go around, however, Allen’s role demands more than human characteristics, causing him to evoke animal behavior as he gradually turns into a four-legged creature of the canine kind, a change that results in some much needed lessons about life.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, The Shaggy Dog, Tim Allen, Kristin Davis, Robert Downey, Danny Glover, Zena Grey, Spencer Breslin, Jane Curtin, Shawn Pyfrom, Philip Baker Hall, Joshua Leonard

Following a wave of remakes that are consisting being driven out of studios these days, Disney’s The Shaggy Dog is based on the original 1959 flick that starred the late, Fred McMurray and Tommy Kirk (whatever happened to him?).   In this up to date, re-invented version with an altogether different storyline Allen is Dave Douglas, a workaholic Deputy D.A. who is so caught up in his job that he doesn’t realize he is ignoring his beautiful wife Rebecca (Kirsten Davis, Sex And The City), and kids, son Josh (the formerly chubby, Spencer Breslin, Cat in the Hat), daughter Carly (Zena Grey), and their needs.  Dave’s latest case involves the prosecution of Justin Forrestor (Joshua Leonard), who is accused of infiltrating and setting fire to biotech lab Grant and Strickland, where sinister Doctor Kozak (Robert Downey, Jr.) and his assistants are working on a secret serum to extend mortal life for 100 years at the expense of innocent animals being used as guinea pigs. As a fitting plot device, Carly is a supporter of Forrester, since she is an animal activist and member of the Animal Rescue Group who are protesting the company for doing DNA testing on the animals, which result in genetic mutations. Needless to say, Carly is angry that her father is defending a puppy murderer and lets him know it.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, The Shaggy Dog, Tim Allen, Kristin Davis, Robert Downey, Danny Glover, Zena Grey, Spencer Breslin, Jane Curtin, Shawn Pyfrom, Philip Baker Hall, Joshua Leonard

From the start, Dave is depicted as not quite the dog lover complaining to a neighbor about his pet dog, which runs free over Dave’s lawn. Of course, Dave’s point of view goes through a radical change after getting bit by a 300 year old sacred dog from Tibet that is found by Carly and taken home after escaping from the lab.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, The Shaggy Dog, Tim Allen, Kristin Davis, Robert Downey, Danny Glover, Zena Grey, Spencer Breslin, Jane Curtin, Shawn Pyfrom, Philip Baker Hall, Joshua Leonard

Things get kicked into high gear once the dog’s DNA takes hold of Dave’s body. The apparent affect comes into play as Dave’s hearing becomes supersensitive, he develops an elongated tongue hard to keep in his mouth, and other animal behavior that is hard to control before we see him running on all fours and then completely transformed into the four legged bearded collie.  Most of the humor relates to the gradual metamorphosis that occurs only when he is awake (why that is so is never explained). Scenes of Dave chasing a cat, driving with his head out of the car window, putting his face deep in a bowl of cereal, growling in court, and the predictable lift of his leg in the men’s toilet are all very funny. Rather than being visually upsetting the mutant animals, such as a cobra with a bark and wagging tail of a dog and a bulldog head on a frog’s body, are depicted in such an amusing, off the wall way with actions that are simply hilarious, especially the scene with all of the animals meditating in their lab cages.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, The Shaggy Dog, Tim Allen, Kristin Davis, Robert Downey, Danny Glover, Zena Grey, Spencer Breslin, Jane Curtin, Shawn Pyfrom, Philip Baker Hall, Joshua Leonard

Rather than using CGI effects to create a speaking pooch, voice-overs by Allen are employed to let us know his inner thoughts of frustration that his bark is not understood. In an effort to communicate his predicament to his kids he uses a game of Scrabble to spell out the words I am Dad, which eventually Dave’s family comes to realize is true.  In a turn of events Dave gets to see for himself what is taking place at the lab and become the inevitable hero. Lending support, but underutilized is Danny Glover as Dave’s boss, Jane Curtain as the Judge and Philip Michael Hall as the wheelchair bound Lance Strickland.  Only Downey gets a chance to have a picnic hamming it up as the conniving, ruthless scientist with a personal agenda.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, The Shaggy Dog, Tim Allen, Kristin Davis, Robert Downey, Danny Glover, Zena Grey, Spencer Breslin, Jane Curtin, Shawn Pyfrom, Philip Baker Hall, Joshua Leonard

Folks, this is not meant as rocket science and the script has lots of plotholes. But, let’s get real. As an amusing comedy with a message for the entire family it has all the fluff and charm that one would expect from a Disney film or, for that matter, any cuddly and cute Shaggy Dog.