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Overall Rating

Awesome: 3.85%
Worth A Look: 9.62%
Average: 7.69%
Pretty Bad: 30.77%
Total Crap48.08%

5 reviews, 22 user ratings

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Shaggy Dog, The (2006)
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by Jason Whyte

"You could hit Tim Allen, but you’d never want to hit Tim Allen the Dog."
1 stars

If you know me, you know that despite the fact Tim Allen has done nothing but garbage over the last several years, I still admire his talent and he’s still a comedian that makes me laugh. I love his standup and I especially loved “Home Improvement”, especially the episodes where he would create incredible (and impractical except only to grunting men) kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms with televisions, game tables and butchers at his disposal. That’s the Tim Allen everyman that I like, and it has made him a successful comedic actor, and pretty much the driving force for Disney.

And yet he keeps making films that embarrass him. The last film I saw him in, “Christmas with the Kranks”, was a condescending, angry and militant comedy that made my Bottom 10 list in 2004, and now we have an unnecessary remake of “The Shaggy Dog” that may make my worst list for this year. I decided to see the film on a whim, having not only seen the Fred MacMurray original from 1959 but also having laughed at some of Allen’s mannerisms in the trailer, and who can resist that poster where we clearly see Allen’s eyes within an oversized sheep dog? Okay, the first half of that was true at least.

The story opens in Tibet where we meet the title character, a Sheep Dog who has been taken to an evil company in Los Angeles. The dog is over 300 years old, and since a dog ages 7 years in a human year (and I should know; I have a 77 year old Cairn Terrier brother named Fergus), it is believed that if his DNA is extracted and given to humans, we can live for many more years. Hundreds, even. (Philip Baker Hall inexplicably plays a character who is one of the funders of this project and is nearing death, and wants to live longer. Here’s hoping he is in Paul Thomas Anderson’s next film.) This comes into the path of Dave (Tim Allen), a lawyer who oh-so wants to be a district attorney that he has pretty much alienated his wife (the lovely Kristin Davis from “Sex and the City”) and rebellious kid Carly (Zena Grey) and nice kid Josh (Spencer Breslin). That is, until the adorable dog comes along and changes everything.

Confusion abound, and it is mostly by me, the watcher of the film. The film never really makes clear exactly about Allen after he is bitten by the sheep dog. The CGI effects of swimming-dog DNA don’t help. Does Allen become a version of the dog that bit him, or just a dog himself? Why does thinking about certain things turn him into a dog and back into a human? Why do we hear Allen’s narration, and sometimes barks along with his narration and otherwise not? Since he’s a dog, wouldn’t all human speech sound like gibberish except for words like walk, treat and dinner? And in the end, we’re never really certain if he’s been cured or he still has the doggy powers.

Of course, I may be looking into it too strongly, being a Disney film and all, but I think kids are smarter than this and deserve better movies. There’s an early scene in the film that just pissed me off, where Tim Allen first gets bitten by the mysterious Shaggy Dog and proceeds to have dog-like behaviour by sniffing, making growling noises and then eating cereal out of a bowl with his mouth. Yeah, I get it, he’s acting like a dog, but the ridiculous thing is watching his family simply go “Huh?” as he does all of these things. The same thing happens later on at a court scene where Allen growls at another attorney; people seem defiantly perplexed instead of genuinely confused as to why he’s actually acting like a dog. And it seems really easy by the screenplay to make his children believe that he turned into a dog by way of a few strategically placed Scrabble pieces.

The film does have one saving grace by way of Robert Downey Jr., who plays one of the wily researchers Dave is trying to stop, and made me laugh on a few occasions with his nervous tics and crazy delivery of dialogue. I’m really happy that he is showing up in more movies these days and I’m just hoping that he doesn’t overexpose himself too much by doing movies such as this one.

I mentioned my dog, Fergus, earlier in the review. He’s a movie buff himself and has an unfortunate knack for loving movies with animals in them (and is also prone to rushing the TV and barking at it when a dog barks on TV, which always gives my family some laughs). He loves the “Babe” movies, “Old Yeller” and, for some odd reason, the movie “Dog Park” with Luke Wilson. I’m sure if I showed him “The Shaggy Dog”, he’d tilt his head at Tim Allen in dog-mode, bark a bit at the big sheep dog, turn his head away and go back to bed. When it comes to turning the head away and going to bed, I wish I could have done the same thing.

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originally posted: 03/15/06 05:38:45
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User Comments

6/14/10 LINDA DOWDY Funny & cute the kids all love it and watch it over and over! 5 stars
5/26/08 brian Some laughs, but dreadful in between them. 2 stars
7/11/07 Tiffany Losco funny, cute 4 stars
4/19/07 Stevo UK At least turn him into something interesting. like an alien from Aliens. as a piss take. 1 stars
9/26/06 Cara Rutledge The movie was cute! Some cussing 3 stars
8/21/06 Stephen Verhaeren Aviod at all costs! 1 stars
6/11/06 Chris It is not a well made movie, yet it doesn't completly fail but by no means spend alot on it 3 stars
6/08/06 Peggy Doty AWFUL 2 stars
5/15/06 david wilson this was rubbish the only good part was when my b/f boned me on the back row hes jo dollery 1 stars
5/15/06 Zaw Tim Allen go back to TV you idoit! and get off the Cocaine! 1 stars
5/03/06 Ashley Hinz Good enough to see once. Nothing special. 3 stars
4/23/06 alien assassin no more remakes PLEASE !!! 2 stars
4/06/06 Troy M. Grzych Loved the original, but this one was surprisingly good as well. 3 stars
4/01/06 Josh Perhaps not as good as some of Tim's other work...but entertaining nonetheless. 4 stars
3/31/06 Leilani It was great 5 stars
3/26/06 ash love it 4 stars
3/14/06 Lester M. Davis Not as good as the original, but worth seeing Tim Allen. 4 stars
3/13/06 Hydrogen Ouch. It physically hurt watching this. 1 stars
3/12/06 Shaun Wallner Funny 4 stars
3/11/06 George W Bush It was too intelligent for me. 1 stars
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  10-Mar-2006 (PG)
  DVD: 01-Aug-2006



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