My kid laughed hysterically at the trailer for this, and I thought it didn't look too painful, so we decided to check it out. At least it had Jason Lee as Underdog, he's been one of my favorite actors since Mallrats. I never watched the cartoon as a youth, it was before my time, and way before the target audience's, so I didn't have any connection to the character yet.
It was over quickly and it honestly wasn't that bad.Granted, I was watching it with my three-year-old, who laughs if you say the word poop. But I thought it was some decent, mindless fun. Underdog, starts out as a mild-mannered beagle, who works as a drug sniffing dog. When his schnoz is revealed as faulty he is let go. The great Peter Dinklage, who has a blast playing it an 11 here, is Dr. Barsinister; he kidnaps the jobless beagle and tries to do some nasty experimentation on him. Chemicals get sprayed, computers explode and Underdog escapes; instead of dying a nasty death from getting who knows what spilled on him, he gains superpowers. Isn't that always the case?
Soon he's taken in by the lame Jim Belushi and given to his son as a replacement for his dead mother, or something like that. The boy soon learns that his dog can talk, and that he can do other neat tricks, like fly faster than the speed of sound. He urges him to become a superhero and the rest is history. He goes around saving people for a while. Then Barsinsister figures out that he's the dog that escaped and it all comes to a big happy crashing conclusion at the end, with the dog saving the day and the bad guys going to jail.
No twists, no turns, nothing new to be seen here. But what do you want, it's a kids movie? The special-effects are fun, this is the most believable talking and flying dog I've ever seen. Jason Lee has some good one-liners as Underdog. Peter Dinklage and Partick Warburton have fun hamming it up as the villains. They keep Jim Belushi safely hidden for much of the film. And the whole thing is put together fairly well.
It's no new classic and I probably won't bother buying the DVD for my kid. But nobody got hurt, and not too many braincells died in the process. An okay way to waste 75 minutes of your life.