Dogs is an unusual project; the film, starring real rescued canines (and
felines and rodents), donates its grosses to animal shelters across
the US where the movie is playing. It’s awfully hard to say anything
derogatory about Rescue Dogs without being the most awful Scrooge that
ever was, still, it’s not like anyone is expecting Citizen K-9.
story of a boy and his dog never gets old. Here is one such story
of Tracy and his devoted mutt, Charger. The young man and his big pup
make their way to the charmingly ramshackle beach hut Tracy converted
into a restaurant, where, with the help of Charger’s discerning snout
and palate, the chef serves delicious meals for a small but steady
clientele. Sadly, that patronage is not hearty enough to buoy Tracy
against the pressure leaned on him once an Evil Businessman (This is
literally his name) decides he wants to build a golf course on the
land under the beach hut. In between dealing with wacky family
relations and a potential new romance with a hamster-loving redhead,
Tracy must fend off the assaults of the Evil Businessman to sabotage the
restaurant and snatch it away.
Setting Rescue Dogs on the sunny shores of Southern California already
adds a level of broad comedy when one thinks of the trippy-dippy,
classic stereotype of beach-happy denizens. From the moment we hear the
first sandpiper speak in narration to our tale (NPI), we know
this is meant for the littlest movie-age kiddies and that’s okay. The
animals do chatter away while the cinematographer tries to catch them in
YouTube-worthy moments to match the script. While I wish there had been
more of the (very) occasional moment of grown-up cleverness like
Charger trying to call his owner’s attention by (mentally)
shouting, “Hey, opposable!”, Hambone the hamster’s macho commentary, and
a slinky, hairless Sphynx cat like Austin Powers’ Dr. Evil familiar,
trying to play against type; this film is indubitably meant for the
Nickelodeon Jr. set.
goes with the movie’s aforementioned incredibly broad humour, which is
downright childish rather than childlike; including the masses of time
spent on Tracy’s obnoxiously strange brother, who’s dressed like a SoCal
surfer clown whose got more unkempt hair all over his face than his own
trusty pup, Callie, and an insistence on wearing shoes made of duct tape
and newspaper. Why? Cos it’s hilarious. Same with the “disguises” of
the banker that brings misfortune down on the restaurant using his
stealthy subterfuge and abusing the legal system. There’s also Tracy’s
cringeworthy slapstick attempts at learning to dance to perpetrate some
convoluted mistaken identity subplot. I know I’ll break your heart to
spoil it, but the movie’s big climax is brought about by Charger
releasing his wind into a crowd of rich folk at a gala. Yep.
Dogs would have benefitted greatly by less time with the annoying humans
and more (flatulence-free) moments with those lovely dogs, cats
and hamsters that they are meant to highlight.
beyond silly, but perhaps it’s the kind of silly that the smallest
audience members, who really don’t have much by way of big screen
options, will enjoy. The rest of us will just have to bear with it and
consider instead the heart and goodwill meant by Rescue Dogs’
Lady Miz Diva
Click here to find out more about Rescue Dogs'
charitable and public awareness efforts.
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