1.5 out of 5 stars (one of the worst films I’ve seen this year)
Show Dogs is one of the strangest kid films I’ve ever seen. Not since Kangaroo Jack has a movie been so confused about who its audience is, containing jokes about inbreeding, disassociation, and other things you don’t want to explain to your child. Add a terrible script with an awkwardly miscast Will Arnett as the human lead, and you have a recipe for a film that will go down as one of the most bizarrely mishandled talking dog movies in history.
The paper-thin plot follows somehow ownerless New York cop canine Max (voiced by a dedicated Ludacris) who is partnered with FBI Agent Frank (An embarrassed-looking Arnett) to help find a panda smuggler at a dog show. Unfortunately, Max couldn’t give a lick about dog shows, and must enlist the help of an ex-best-in-show dog Philippe (voiced by an unrecognizable Stanley Tucci). Hilarity supposedly ensues as Max tries to hunt down the smugglers and learn to respect the dog show life, while Frank somewhat hits it off with another dog handler (Natasha Lyonne).
This should not be in a theater. It stinks of multiple writers who had no idea who it was aimed at. One scene in particular has invoked parental disdain in which Max enters a dissociative dream after being told to go to his “zen place” when the judges inspect his private parts for the competition. Luckily, the backlash is seeing the scene removed from theatrical release this weekend, but I think there are other out-of-place jokes here given the type of film it is.
Show Dogs is an awkward mess whose needless adult jokes make it inappropriate for the small children who will otherwise enjoy it. I hope everyone was paid well for this; I only paid with my time.
Rated PG For Suggestive And Rude Humor (A ton of it), Language (Damn and BS are used once), And Some Action (A brief scuffle at the end). Leave this dog in timeout.