A drug sniffing agent canine is a target for an assassin boss so the FBI calls Witness Protection to send him somewhere else. Meanwhile a single Mom puts her 6 year old boy James in the care of her irresponsible, mailman, neighbor, Gordon, when the babysitter bails on her. Meanwhile, an assassin mob boss hires 2 goons to kill Agent 11. But when 11 escapes from the van when they tried to kill him, he hides in Gordon's Mailtruck that James is in too. And guess what they name him. Spot. Written by
This is a wonderfully funny dog film. But the difference this time is that the star is not a cute lovable pooch who wants to lick you all over, but a stony-faced, not to say also squash-faced, dog who is truly a dog of few words and of even fewer expressions. What is more, as an FBI dog, he has been trained NOT to play! So if you throw a ball, he just sits there and looks at you as if you are a child, which if you are a child, is true, of course. So this is a new approach to dog films, what you might call the Holden Caulfield Phase perhaps, since the lead role is now played by a kind of canine anti-hero. Is this a sign that dog films have matured? Or are they entering a period of decadence? Is the integrity of dog films threatened by this emergence of an unsmiling dog hero? But we must not think of this dog as an anti-hero in the sense of being a weakling or a cop-out. In fact, so far from being a cop-out, this dog is actually a cop. He is known officially as Agent 11, and is renowned as the FBI's smartest anti-crime dog. He can sniff a criminal a mile off, and he always keeps a sharp nose out at all times, because he knows perfectly well that in the human community, danger and crime are everywhere. So why is the film called SEE SPOT RUN? Well, you see, it's like this. Agent 11 has alienated a very dangerous Mafioso because in nabbing him he has bitten him in a man's most sensitive place (no, not his wallet, silly, you know what I mean!) And that guy orders two hapless hit men to go and kill Agent 11 at all costs. There are many comic moments when the two hit men (the only two creatures in the film uglier than Agent 11) bicker amongst themselves about this assignment which is beneath their dignity, and worry that if their friends ever find out they will never live it down and will be humiliated for the rest of their lives. On the other hand, if they do not carry out the assignment successfully, their Mafioso boss has made it clear that there will be no 'rest of their lives'. They keep nearly succeeding and in the confusion, Agent 11 escapes and goes underground, lying doggo as it were. He hides in the home of an excited little boy who wants a dog, and who chooses to call Agent 11 by the name of Spot, precisely because he has no spots, just as at that age I called my dog Rusty because she was black and white. We little kids when we are little can be really difficult and non-conformist, and some of us remain that way (those of us who are resistant to peer-pressure, that is). The casting of the little boy is very clever, because he too is not the cute cuddly little boy you would expect, any more than the pooch is. In fact, he is the kind of little boy you have to get used to because he is NOT immediately endearing. But he grows on you. He has a hysterical, shrieking, narcissistic single mother in a tight skirt. She is the only stock character in the film, the usual one without which no American movie is ever complete: the embittered and angry ex-wife or ex non-wife, or whatever she is, but anyway she is angry and embittered. Have you seen an American film without one of these harpies in the past twenty years? Hopelessly in love with her (which shows such appalling lack of taste) is the highly amusing David Arquette, who has the advantage of having a touch of that attractive wistful look of his sister Rosanna. Arquette is a wildly wacky, hopelessly disorganised young free spirit who lives in a pig-sty, and has little in the way of financial prospects. The girl in the tight skirt has to go away for a few hours and leaves her little boy with Arquette, with the greatest trepidation because she considers him irresponsible, but she will be back soon enough and she risks it. However, Fate intervenes and she is delayed for days. It is during that time that Agent 11, alias Spot, becomes a family member. And then of course the hit men discover Agent 11's whereabouts and if the girl in the tight skirt had known about what was really going on she would really have freaked out, but she is too busy being stuck in the middle of nowhere through multiple mishaps, and her cellphone falls into a puddle as well, and oh yes, she is splattered with mud and you name it, it happens to her. (But she deserves it, because she is angry and embittered and narcissistic and she shrieks.) Well, what do you think? Do the bad guys get their way? Come on, this is a dog film. There are lots of laughs and lots of woofs. But no power on earth can persuade me to give away the secret of the ending, for a dog's word is his 007.
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