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When I first became a father about 5.5 years ago, I was prepared for
many of the sacrifices I'd have to make. I knew I'd have to change
diapers and take them to swimming lessons and attend many a freezing
Santa Claus parade, but I wasn't ready for the kind of sacrifice I made
last night. This, in my humble opinion, is cruel and unusual
Underdog is bad. It's not quite Karate Dog bad, but it makes The Shaggy Dog feel like Pulp Fiction. If Underdog were a television show, I'd recommend flipping on by. Not even the presence of Puddy and the voice of Banky Edwards can save it. Bow. Wow.
It was also just about the best 80 minutes I've ever enjoyed. James was seated to the right of me and Michelle to the left, and I spent more time watching their reaction to this talking, flying mutt than watching the screen. At 5 and 3 years old, they were the target audience, and this movie nailed the target. There's a scene where Underdog belches loudly in another dogs face and Michelle thought it was the funniest scene ever captured on film. When Underdog was flying into outer space, James was literally at the edge of his seat, mesmerized. The kids absolutely loved Underdog, and that's why I was there. That's what last night was all about.
Unless you're accompanying someone under the age of ten, you have no business wasting a second of your life watching this brutal film. But if you are looking to kill 80 minutes with your four year old, I won't judge. I had a blast.
I gave this movie a 10 because as of today, this movie has an extremely
low rating which I (and my 7 year old daughter) believe it does not
deserve. In other words, I'm voting for all those kids 10 and under who
are too busy doing something more important than reviewing movies
This is, after all, a kids movie. You've got to see it for what it is. It's a cute movie with a cute dog and a half way decent plot (unless you're 7 then it's an awesome plot). If you're a parent you've probably have had to sit through some real painful movies, this is not one of them. My daughter (and many kids in the theater) were laughing out loud on many scenes. If you compare this movie to the original cartoons, well, people, let's be honest, the cartoons were pretty bad.
Hey, it's a beagle with a funny voice that flies...and kids love it.
You know, the old Underdog cartoons were a favorite of mine when I was
little. I much preferred them to its counterparts in Rocky & Bulwinkle,
Dudley Doright, and Fractured Fairy Tales. I really had forgotten what
it was that I had loved so much about those old, cheaply animated
Then I saw this movie, and it actually reminded me about what I had liked so much -- the rhyming couplets of Underdog's speech, the inability for Polly Purebred to recognize that Shoeshine is Underdog, and one other thing which I will leave as a surprise (it's a bit of dialogue at the end of the film).
Obviously, I disagree with many other reviewers here. Clearly, this has been marketed to kids, with the hope that nostalgic parents will be willing to cart the kids to the theater to see it. Four adults went with three children in my group, and all of us enjoyed the movie.
First, let me say that it is rare to find a great movie for all ages. It's hard to find any sort of action/superhero genre movie that is not peppered with profanity, sexual innuendo, or potty humor. Underdog is almost nil on all those counts. What exists in this movie is far from the usual garbage that attempts to pass as humor. All of us felt comfortable with our children (age ranges 4 - 10) seeing this.
I didn't mind the fact that the movie is not animated. The CGI stuff that animates the dogs' mouths does not trouble me. I mean, does anyone expect that this is going to be nominated for any Oscars? Sometimes movies exist just for escapist entertainment.
For me, the movie hearkened back to the original cartoon as much as it could without looking stupid. Obviously, Underdog's alter-ego is not literally a clothed dog working as a shoeshine boy. But I think that what the writers and director did was fine. As a fan of the original series, I was not disappointed.
I also liked Jason Lee's voice for Underdog. The script was humorous without being gross, and it clearly was geared for children. Simon Barsinister is an adequate villain, but rather upstaged by Patrick Warburton as the witless Cad.
Like I said, others may disagree with me, but I think this is one that I'd buy on DVD to have in my child's library of movies. It's nice to know that there is something that kids can watch without having to be subjected to profanity or sexuality in everything that comes across the screen.
It seems to me that most of the other reviewers have expected way too much or else have turned a too-critical eye on this pleasantly distracting bit of entertainment. As I said before, it evoked a lot of memories for me of the original, and I even liked the new spin on the theme song.
Guys, every movie does not have to be Schindler's List, Lord of the Rings, Titantic, or some such other movie with critical acclaim.
Occasionally, a film's trailer gives viewers a realistic preview. Such
was the case with "Underdog". Here is a film with humor offered without
the condescension and knowing winks delivered by Dreamworks Animation
and its ilk. The story is a typical zap-the-hero setup and does not
pretend to be otherwise.
The actors (human and animal alike) deliver professional performances. Peter Dinklage is delicious as the requisite mad scientist. James Belushi is surprisingly effective and believable as the dad. Unfortunately, Patrick Warburton has descended from acceptably quirky into shtick. Newcomer Alex Neuberger (in his second feature) gives his part a nice emotional balance and doesn't overplay his sidekick work.
The animal animation is nicely handled and devoid of gimmickry. This part of the movie industry deserves praise for continued development and polish.
Summers have blockbusters created by and viewed by blocks; Underdog reminds audiences that a simple, fun flick can be far more entertaining.
I enjoyed this movie. Laughed, and yes, nearly cried. Wonderful to see
the existential hero of a great film, "The Station Agent", playing
Simon Bar Sinister to the hilt. Good acting. Human actors stood up well
against the dog actors, who are known to upstage humans mercilessly.
Also, one notable cat actor. Adequately plotted script, with hilarious
dialogue. This movie is about a dog--a special dog. As if beagles
weren't special enough without genetic enhancement, this beagle (voiced
by Jason Lee with absolute sincerity, wit and insouciance) is burdened
with super-hero gifts and responsibilities. Jim Belushi is the good
dad, playing it straight and steady amidst general mayhem. Also nice
examples of sensitive community police-work in this movie.
Probably the most memorable thing for me this viewing (oh yeah, I'm going to see it again!!) is the special puff-of-smoke pattern, true to the original cartoon, that Underdog generates when he accelerates into full flight after hovering in the sky.
They did it again: ripped off an old show's title, then destroyed the
nostalgia with boring "re-imagined" stuff. The '60's cartoon was one of
the funniest of its time, a good-natured satire of super hero comic
books. The character was drawn as 1/2 way between animal and human, the
way Mickey Mouse is. Here they use a real beagle; that's about the same
as making a Mickey Mouse watch with a real rat.
Most of the clever schtick that made the original show funny is missing from this film. Instead, we get a clumsy ex-police dog who's even dumber than Cad. And some pet owners who add nothing to the story. Cheesy effects (the dog-talking animation is embarrassing). Poor scripting. A stereotyped dwarf playing Simon Bar Sinister. The gravelly noise box guy they hired to voice Underdog is painful. You'd think they'd at least gotten a voice impressionist to approximate Wally Cox's humorously distinctive voice for Underdog. But no. There are, at least, a few affectionate references to the source material (such as the rhyming lines), which lift it to a 4.
Only small children that love dogs may enjoy this. Everybody else should get a DVD of the original cartoon series. Watch this only in desperation.
This movie was good, with the only purpose of entertaining kids and grown up people too. The adaptation from the cartoon was really good and the plot was convincing and very well developed although the story has some flaws, for example, Sweet Polly was a poodle in the cartoon not a cocker spaniel. The cast was good very decent acting from everyone, Jason Lee as the voice of Underdog was very good as well as Amy Adams as Sweet Polly. James Belushi performance was good, very funny and the best one of all in my opinion was Patrick Warburton as Dr. Barsinister. In conclusion, a typical family movie, very enjoyable and entertaining.
This movie was fun to watch, even for us adults. The humor was spot on, and the acting was what you'd expect. Jason Lee was great as Underdog's voice. Get this movie when it comes out on DVD. It's worth your while for a few chuckles with the kids. Even though it's aimed at kids, both my wife and I liked it, and honestly, I usually don't like kid's movies. I think they are usually way to low on the intelligence and believability scale. This one, actually had a decent story that didn't stray into stupidity and utter ridiculousness that most kid's movies do. Once again, go see this movie, or get the DVD when it comes out, you can see it again and again.
I remember seeing the very first trailer for Underdog back last March,
I also remember at the time smiling to myself ever so slightly. Sure it
was a cheesy idea, but I genuinely thought at the time the concept
might work, hell it couldn't be any worse than the disappointing Cats
and Dogs could it? Then by December and I suddenly remembered the film
I realised how likely the film was to suck, the fact it had been
delayed in the UK made it seem inevitable it would be terrible, but the
horrendous reviews just made me realise it was nigh on impossible for
the movie to be any good. Still I swallowed my feelings and went to see
the film with a friend today, as I entered my screen I was mortified,
it was the very first time I'd be seeing a movie with a friend and
being the only two in the screen! Little did I know for what I was
about to endure. Underdog to put it blunt is horrendous, it really is.
Imagine how bad you could think this movie is and then prepare yourself
for a movie even worse, that is just how pathetic the movie is. While
it aims to entertain kids it just seems an embarrassing mess that seems
to insult kids rather than allow them to enjoy the movie. Matters
cannot be helped by the fact that the story is beyond lacklustre, the
acting is generally poor, and the movie just feels like an over-long,
tired and downright boring Saturday cartoon! After a brief five minutes
where I thought the movie might be passable the movie just suddenly
seems to die and then limp on towards the already sign posted finale.
I'm just amazed the movie was actually ever released, it's an
embarrassment to Disney, hell half their straight to video sequels are
better than this! What's even more terrifying is the fact the ending
leaves room for a sequel!
So lets get onto the acting (cracks knuckles). Okay let me be honest Jason Lee is decent, his voice suits the canine, and had he have been given a decent script he might have made the performance work. However, with such a dodgy script he just seems to flounder. In many ways it reminded me of Bill Murray in Garfield, Murray did what he could with what he had, but what he had wasn't enough to make it passable. Then we get onto the human actors, and well the majority of atrocious. Alex Neuberger plays the friend of Underdog, Jack. My biggest concern is that anybody would even take him seriously in an audition. The scene where he gets to fly with Underdog is perhaps the most cringe worthy scene in the past few years just because his acting is so poor. Not once did I believe he was a real person, in fact part of me is still convinced he was a robot made specially for the movie! James Belushi seems half dead in the film, he has nothing to work with, no decent lines, he just seems to wander around the set waiting to become relevant to the plot, which the writers try to do towards the end but do it in such a poor way its laughable. Thankfully Peter Dinklage is the one redeeming factor of the movie, he is great as Dr Barsinister and seems to be having a laugh in the role. He steals every scene he is in, although that's hardly difficult when he shares screen time with the extremely annoying Patrick Warburton. The rest of the cast are even worse, especially Taylor Momsen, she just needs to end her acting career right now!
Underdog also fails dramatically in terms of delivering anything like a funny scene. When the funniest scene involves Underdog biting a can and causing dog food to explode everywhere you know there is something drastically wrong. This could be easily ignored if the movie had decent action or a good story, alas the movie is even worse in both of these terms. The effects are so ropey that any scene where Underdog flies just seems absurd, and the dog uses his powers to such little effect that you frequently forget he has superpowers. What's the point in making a film about a super dog if the damned dog never appears super? The final fight also verges on embarrassing purely because its ten minutes of nothingness, the dog flies, other stuff happens, some stuff gets chucked about, all of this is irrelevant as this stuff is happening for the sake of stuff happening. The script as well is dodgy at best and downright pain inducingly awful at worst. When someone says "Look its a plane, no its a bird, no its a frog...", yes you read that right, I just wanted to burst into tears there and then. Actually I wanted to walk out by remained compelled to see whether it could get any lower than that point, this happens near the end so it doesn't thankfully.
Overall Underdog becomes the worst movie of 2008 at this early period, and is actually just as bad as last years Epic Movie. Luckily for Underdog, Meet the Spartans arrives over here soon and I expect that to be even worse. So in case you didn't get the point of my review, avoid the film at all costs, if you want to see a movie with a dog then watch Cats and Dogs, buy a real dog if necessary, just do not see this!
When Underdog the cartoon debuted in 1964, at the age of 7 I was hooked
immediately. He was Top Dog (pun intended) in my book-(that is, until
Batman premiered on ABC a year or so later). Even when it was clear
that Disney was going to make a live-action version of the once popular
Saturday morning cartoon, it was equally clear to me that it was going
to be a piece of crap. Even reading the reviews in the papers seemed to
confirm this. However, I made it a point to: a) never attempt to write
a review unless I have seen the movie from start to finish; and b)
never to spend one red cent on a movie that I'm almost certain I will
Thanks to YouTube I: a) am fully qualified to write this review; and b) it only cost me 84 minutes of my hard earned time.
It also proves my point, namely, that this movie is not merely a piece of crap. It's a steaming pile of dog droppings. It resembles the TV series in name only, even though they almost got it right with Simon and Cad.
All in all, Underdog is a huge waste of time- and money, which thankfully, I didn't have to spend.
Rating: 1/2* out of *****
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