Good Boy!

Good Boy!


Reviewed by: George Williamson

Many people wonder what their pets would say could they talk. Some might expect a message of love, others a complaint about their standard of living. What they would actually ask is: "Will you tell us how to work a can opener?"

Owen (Liam Aiken) is a lonely boy. His parents refurbish and sell houses for a living and because of this continuous upheaval, he has no real friends and no place to call home. They promise him a dog, if he proves he can look after one by walking all of the neighbourhood mutts; enter Canid 3492 (voiced by Matthew Broderick), a dog from outer space, who has crash landed his spacecraft on a nearby hillside, probably due to the difficulties of steering without opposable thumbs.

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Owen picks "Hubble" up from the pound and within five minutes has been zapped by an alien ray that lets him understand the language of woofs. From this point the film descends into the mire of syrupy children's movie clichés, as Owen and the no-nonsense Hubble learn to be friends, whilst saving the dogs of the world.

This is down at the super-padded end of children's cinema. There are no surprises and no jokes for the adults. Everything is lovely and safe and suburban. The local dogs are owned by the most culturally diverse, although resoundingly middle-class owners, giving the film an almost surreal politically correct tone.

The humour provided by the local dogs is, at best, mildly amusing, relying too often on slapstick and innocuous fart jokes. Even the neighbourhood bullies can't pull off anything unpleasant enough to be truly youff orientated, failing in their heinous dog shaving plans. Be assured, by the end everyone has had their daily dose of morals and will realize that home isn't where they live, but who lives with them.

A sentimental mishmash of films, such as ET and Look Who's Talking, Good Boy! is nothing even approaching original. However, it is well produced and dog-loving kids will woof it.

Reviewed on: 18 Dec 2003
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Comedy in which a boy learns the lessons of life from a talking dog from outer space.
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Director: John Robert Hoffman

Writer: John Robert Hoffman

Starring: Molly Shannon, Liam Aiken, Kevin Nealon, Brittany Moldowan, George Touliatos, Patti Allan, Hunter Elliott, Mikhael Speidel

Year: 2003

Runtime: 87 minutes

BBFC: U - Universal

Country: US


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