conventional as it may be, Underdog is a movie that I
kind of admire. While it is essentially a cable-quality kidsí
flick blown up for the big screen to rake in box-office dollars,
the picture has an audience for which it will do nothing but
good things. In nearly every respect, Underdog is
unoriginal, but itís also entirely harmless. Parents who take
their children will be happy to have found such a wholesome
entertainment, and they will usually find it perky enough to
enjoy for themselves as well.
But Iím not
just praising Underdog for brilliantly marketing itself
towards the six-year-olds of America. Lots of releases regularly
do just this and I find them thoroughly insufferable as such
(the recent Are We Done Yet? and Teenage Mutant Ninja
Turtles spring instantly to mind as proof). What separates
this feature from a wasteland of others is the fact that itís
actually a good movie for its target audience to be
watching. Underdogís themes are inspiring enough for
children, and there isnít a bit of off-color language or
innuendo to be found in its contents.
aforementioned being said, I should also note that the movie is
also rather amusing on its own. Jason Lee voices Underdog, the
famous once-cartoon-character Beagle who mistakenly gains
extraordinary abilities when his DNA is tampered with by a
mad-scientist (played wonderfully here by a hilariously
out-of-place by Peter Dinklage) at an animal lab. As Underdog
uses his incredible powers to save Washington D.C. from evil
alongside new owner Jack (Alex Neuberger), the movie is
effortlessly enjoyable. Leeís sardonic voice-work spices up the
rather boringly written comedy and the fast pace created by
director Frederik du Chau makes the viewer forget how clichťd
the filmís plot is.
much to Underdog, but it works for what it is. The film
doesnít have any ambitions outside of that of entertaining its
intended audience, but it shouldnít need to. Itís a picture of
modest intentions, and it fulfills these in all the ways that a
viewer might want.
8.11.2007 at MovieMax in Carlsbad, CA.
Underdog is rated PG and runs 84
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