Beethoven's 4th (2001 Video)
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The movie seems more of a wishbone type wannabe, with its simplistic plot that doesn't even completely make sense and silly sight gags. While some of the movie is a bit funny, like Judge Reinhold trying to get Michalangelo (Beethoven's look-a-like) to behave like Beethoven, the movie is one to be skipped.
I'm not sure if 3 and 4 were filmed back to back, since this movie does carry a copyright date of 2000 on it. However, Beethoven's 3rd wasn't even theatre releasable, so the decision had to have been to make 2 direct to videos.
Anyway, Judge Reinhold should try better choices, at least ones that don't have him drinking out of a toilet.
Basically, Beth and Richard want to get rid of Beethoven due to poor habits of drooling and destroying, but the kids want to keep him so they secretly take Beethoven to obedience classes. But Richard finds out that Beethoven inspires him to create his best art pieces ever. There is another family who is more wealthy and also have a St. Bernard, Michaelangelo, and kidnappers want him so they can get a ransom, not that much money if you ask me, but Beethoven and Michaelanglo get mixed up when they're both outside and end up with the wrong families.
Beethoven's 4th is a pretty sorry excuse for a film, but it was a little better than the third Beethoven movie. My cousins really enjoy these films, so like I said before, these films must be doing something right. For a family film, it wouldn't be too bad, but for me, this was a pretty silly movie.
Judge Reinhold returns to the role of Richard Newton, seen in the 2000 straight-to-video (and rightly so!) "Beethoven's 3rd" flop. Julia Sweeney, once famous for her place on "Saturday Night Live," reprises the Beth Newton Persona, and there are two very bad-acting children in the film, also.
This awful sequel deals with Richard Newton watching Beethoven for his brother (once played by the much-better Charles Grodin) while they go on a family vacation. Unfortunately for both Richard and the audience, the millionth time Beethoven drinks out of the toilet bowl it makes everyone a bit mad, so they take him to training class, where he accidentally switches places with a rich man's (Matt McCoy) Saint Bernard without anyone noticing. When Rich Man's dog comes back to the Newton's, they are astonished at the fact that he is finally obeying his masters...the only problem is that now Beethoven is over at the Rich Man's House, caught with The Rich Man's Snooty Daughter and the Quiet Elderly Butler. How will Beethoven ever get back?
Quite honestly, I couldn't care less whether Beethoven makes it home or gets run over by a steam-roller. Let's put it this way: I really enjoyed the original "Beethoven" film written by the King of the Eighties, John Hughes. The second was a bit contrived, and was cashing in on the original a bit, but it still had its moments. This mind-numbingly bad sequel, however, is a follow-up to an already mind-numbingly bad third installment. By this time, I've seen so much Beethoven I don't really care what happens.
Perhaps if Charles Grodin was in it I'd still enjoy the series.
Perhaps if the script was intelligent and witty, and not the equivalent of EVERY family film that comes out nowadays, I'd like it.
But somewhere along the line in this world of cashing-in on superior originals, "Beethoven" lost the charm, wit and talent it once had and is now a snore-fest. Really, it went from a pleasant and enjoyable family comedy to a kids' movie with dumb dialogue, dumb situations, dumb characters, etc...the whole dumb works. It's almost like it's a whole other film series.
Or is it?
"Beethoven's 4th" gets 1/5 from me--it's weak, pathetic, has lost its charm (two sequels ago), and is filled with kiddie-film material and ultimately no intelligence whatsoever. The film execs who gave the go-ahead on this one were looking for one thing: Money.
Avoid this flop and see an intelligent family film, like 2001's "Monsters, Inc." That movie was good.
This one isn't.
1/5 stars -