3.5 out of 5 stars (above average)
note: today, I would probably be a lot harsher on this film, but I was 12 years old at the time and nothing was cooler than a flying, talking beagle. Please enjoy my review below.
Alpha Dog (Jason Lee) is perhaps the worst dog on the police force. In a scene at the Capital we find out he is smelling-impaired, which makes him mistake a piece of ham for a bomb. When he wanders off in shame, he is bullied by some German Shepherds, then picked up by Cad (Patrick Warburton), henchman to the evil, the terrible, and the short, Dr. Simon Barsinister, played evilly by Peter Dinklage of Elf.
Barsinister does animal testing and genetic manipulation at his lab. Unfortunately, in the process of Alpha Dog’s genetic mutation, he gets away and blows up the lab, giving Barsinister a new facial and also getting chemicals in his body. Dan Unger (James Belushi) is a previous policeman who is now the watchman at the lab. Unger takes Alpha Dog home to his son, Jack, so he won’t be lonely. He’s lonely because his mom is dead (again). Dan also renames Alpha Dog “Shoeshine” because he licks his shoes. Even though he does not know it yet, Shoeshine has super powers including the ability to fly, run fast, and speak human, even in rhyme! He’s a beagle, who can fly like an eagle!
When Jack finds out about this, he tells Shoeshine that he must become a superhero. Shoeshine says no. Jack takes Shoeshine for a walk where he meets the girl of his dreams, Molly, and Shoeshine meets her dog Polly. When Shoeshine saves Molly and Polly from bad guys, he agrees with Jack to become a superhero. After many stupid name suggestions, Jack picks out Underdog, and he uses his dad’s old college sweater for a costume. But, Barsinister, now living in the sewer, is plotting against Underdog.
You’ll be sick if you miss this summer flick where evil gets licked! Get off the phone, give this dog a bone! Rated PG for rude humor, mild language, and action.