UNDERDOG

Needs More Panache

Content +2
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: August 03, 2007

Starring: Jason Lee, Jim Belushi, Alex Neuberger, Peter Dinklage, Patrick Warburton, Amy Adams, Brad Garrett, and Taylor Momsen

Genre: Action Comedy

Audience: All ages

Rating: PG

Runtime: 80 minutes

Address Comments To:

Robert Iger, President/CEO
The Walt Disney Company (Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, and Buena Vista Distribution)
Dick Cook, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521
Phone: (818) 560-1000
Website: www.disney.com

Content:

(BB, Pa, FR, L, V, N, M) Strong moral worldview about serving others by using one’s gifts to fight evil marred by a scene where the superhero steals a woman’s doggy bag as she’s leaving a restaurant, plus conceited henchman says he treats his body “like a Buddhist temple”; one butt, and one light exclamatory profanity, and light, brief toilet humor about dog behavior; light comic violence such as flying dog superhero punches criminals, dog with super powers unintentionally wrecks living room and sends chili flying in kitchen, villain ties up man and threatens him, explosion, and comic pratfalls; no sex; male dog nudity visible; no alcohol; no smoking; and, hero steals doggy bag from woman leaving restaurant, villain’s henchman tries to rob jewelry store, and villain blackmails city.

Summary:

UNDERDOG is a live-action movie based on the old cartoon series and tells the origins of the rhyming superhero beagle, Underdog, and his first encounters with his arch-nemesis, Simon Barsinister. The script for this live-action version is not great, but it does provide lots of good, wholesome fun for younger families and young children beginning to explore the joys of moviegoing outside the home.

Review:

UNDERDOG is a live-action movie based on the old TV cartoon series. The movie falls a little short because it is too serious and lacks the funny cartoon voices that made the series enjoyable to watch. A comedy like this cries out for wacky, funny, unique-sounding comedic voices spoofing the superhero genre. Among the cast, Patrick Warburton is the most successful at developing a truly unique comical character.

In the story, a beagle tries to be a good bomb-sniffing police dog, but he’s always making mistakes. The beagle wanders off and gets nabbed by Cad, the overgrown henchman of the evil scientist, Simon Barsinister. In the lab, the beagle is splashed accidentally with a special serum developed by Barsinister. The dog escapes outside, where he is found by the building’s security guard, Dan Unger. Naming the dog Shoeshine, Dan takes the dog home for his son, Jack, who’s having trouble in school because he’s still mourning his mother’s death.

At about the same time, Jack and Shoeshine discover that Barsinister’s serum has given Shoeshine super powers, including the ability to talk like humans. Jack encourages Shoeshine to use his super powers to help people. And so, the superhero Underdog is born.

Underdog vows to protect the citizens of Capitol City – “There’s no need to fear; Underdog is here!” – especially a beautiful Spaniel named Polly Purebred. When Barsinister threatens to destroy the city and kidnaps Dan, only Underdog and Jack can save the day.

The script for this live-action version is not great, but it does provide plenty of good, wholesome fun for younger families and young children. In fact, UNDERDOG would be a good movie to introduce younger children to the joys of seeing a movie on the big screen at a nice theater. Fans of the original series, however, may miss some of the comic panache of the original series, which excelled at spoofing comic-book superheroes. The movie’s strong, positive moral messages are slightly diminished when Underdog uses his super powers to steal a woman’s doggy bag as she’s leaving a restaurant.

In Brief:

UNDERDOG is a live-action movie based on the old cartoon series. The evil scientist, Simon Barsinister, snatches a beagle working as a police dog. In the lab, the beagle is splashed accidentally with a special serum. The beagle escapes, where he is found by the security guard, Dan Unger. Naming the dog Shoeshine, Dan takes the dog home to his son, Jack, who’s having trouble in school because he’s mourning his mother’s death. Jack and Shoeshine discover Barsinister’s serum has given Shoeshine super powers, including the ability to talk. Jack encourages Shoeshine to use his powers to help people. Thus, the superhero Underdog is born.

This live-action version is not great, but it provides plenty of good fun for younger families and young children. In fact, UNDERDOG would be good to introduce younger children to the joys of seeing a movie on the big screen. Fans of the series may miss some of the comic panache of the original series, which excelled at spoofing comic-book superheroes. The movie’s strong, positive moral messages are slightly diminished when Underdog uses his super powers to steal a woman’s doggy bag outside a restaurant.