If you liked BENJI and enjoyed LONE WOLF MCQUADE, TOP DOG may be the movie for you. In TOP DOG, a highly decorated and disciplined police dog named Reno is shot in the line of duty and his human partner is killed. To solve the case, Reno is given Lt. Jacob Wilder, played by action star Chuck Norris. Reno and Wilder have very similar police performance records, including arrests made, commendations awarded, and disciplinary actions filed against them. These two “peas in a pod” become a crime fighting duo investigating a series of hate crimes linked to an international neo-Nazi conspiracy. Augmenting their fine display of detective work are constant cliches and stereotyping used throughout the film.
Sloppy, beer drinking and rude, Chuck Norris plays the same rough and tumble police officer as in most of his previous movies. Yet, above all else, Norris remains a martial artist, complete with all of the flashy moves Hollywood loves and demonstrating his top form in fight after fight. The dog, Reno, also proves to be quite the aggressive pooch, always present to foil the bad guys. Reno also provides comic relief and, while he is no Lassie or Rin Tin Tin, he is effective. Lack of plot development, sloppy editing, huge continuity holes, and some mild foul language flaw this otherwise fast-paced, fun, shoot-em-up picture.
(Ro, LL, VV, A, D, B, M) Heroic worldview in which good guys win, but good is relative; 11 mild obscenities & 1 profanity; action violence -- numerous explosions, gunfights, fist fights, at least 20 deaths, & dog shot but not killed; drunkenness; drug dealers are arrested; respect for parent portrayed; and, lead character behaves rudely & exhibits disrespect for authority, & police officers break the law -- illegal search & seizure, breaking & entering & failure to read suspects their rights during arrests, & dog burps.