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Rescue 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.

The 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. 

So it 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. 

Rescue 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.

It’s 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’ production.

 

~ The Lady Miz Diva

April 1st, 2016

 

Click here to find out more about Rescue Dogs' charitable and public awareness efforts.

 

 

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Photos

Stills Courtesy of  Busted Buggy Entertainment

 

 

 

 

 

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