Firehouse Dog (PG)

Action/Adventure 111 April 4, 2007
By Rob Nelson
Not quite disturbingly forlorn, but forlorn (and overly literal) just the same, this latest entry in the doggy-acrobat subgenre of canine comedies has but one joke, and it comes early: In the Idol age, celebrity culture has gone to the dogs -- literally. Pampered terrier Rexxx, star of Jurassic Bark et al., commands his own on-set trailer (not to mention the bitches), but falls from the top -- again, literally -- when a failed skydiving stunt lands him in rotten tomatoes (literally!). Then (ho-hum) Shane (Josh Hutcherson), a 12-year-old vid-gamer and skate kid whose unmarried dad (Bruce Greenwood) is a fire department captain, stumbles upon the "mutt from hell" with his terrible "mouth fart" and watches flabbergasted as the mongrel shows an amazing aptitude for hyper-obsessive housecleaning and rescuing people from burning buildings. (The cut-rate fire FX appear ported from Shane's trusty PSP.) "Bad to the Bone" gets spun, and Rexxx eventually makes his way down the fire pole, but the movie never goes off leash. Indeed, my four-year-old, a far more forgiving dog-film-lover than Dad, mustered not a single laugh. Page two of the press kit tellingly attributes the dour screenplay to a "dog movie mandate," presumably by Fox. Woo-hoo! Let's hear it for family entertainment!
Todd Holland Josh Hutcherson, Bruce Greenwood, Dash Mihok, Steven Culp, Bill Nunn, Bree Turner, Mayte Garcia, Teddy Sears, Scotch Ellis Loring, Claudette Mink Claire-Dee Lim, Mike Werb, Michael Colleary Michael Colleary, Mike Werb 20th Century Fox

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