I have mentioned before in the past that I babysit sometimes, but my collection is not exactly kid friendly (12 Years A Slave and Waltz With Bashir to name some) so a trip to the video store is an easy solution. Since I let the kids pick out the movie this is a good opportunity for me to do allot less than I usually do. As you can tell by the rating I hated it, but it biggest crime is its target audience felt like they were being punished.
Dude, Where’s My Dog?! is about Ray and his friends trying to find their invisible dog. Trying to talk about the plot is like trying to explain to someone the experience of watching paint dry. What can you say about aside from you wait, and nothing visibly happens. The same goes with this movie, except it has a clear target audience who are kids. So it’s pretty insulting the film can make its intended audience suffer. That’s not an exaggeration, one of the kids I babysit and who chose this asked me “Why am I being punished”. Thankfully for them they fell asleep twenty-two minutes in. There’s nothing about the writing I could say a positive thing about. For instance there are scientist that created an invisible serum for no reason. A serum that a Latina or Hispanic Mobster wants for no reason. All the while the FBI are involved in getting the invisible serum because they could sneak into women locker rooms if they get it. The dog turns visible again for no reason. No logic does not equal nonsense being funny. Things like motivation, characters, and humor it failed to understand. Ray only looks for his dog because he was told too by his parents to look after the dog. Each kid character is a stereotype from the fat one, the girl, and the backtalker which is about as much personality they have. As for the adults they are all dumb portraying criminals as bumbling idiots that can be defeated by farting in their direction. Aiming to make kids laugh with fart jokes, vomit jokes, and gross out humor in general. It’s not in the least bit funny since there’s no consequences from the joke for characters nor a good setup for the punchline.
I’m going to mention a few particular scenes because they are that terrible. In one scene the villainess accomplices kidnaps a kid and it played for laugh. Yes, because there nothing more hilarious and innocent than child abduction. It doesn’t end there, but the accomplices tortures the kid by inserting a truth serum up his nose. According to this movie telling the truth is apparently a bad thing. After hearing a knock at the door the accomplices goes to check who it is and it’s the FBI. Any kid at this point given the opportunity would tell the FBI they got kidnapped. Instead though, the accomplices tells the FBI the kid he kidnapped is his son and the kidnapped kid plays along. What a good lesson to teach kids. Teaching them to play along with their kidnapper and prevent him from being capture by pretending to be his son. Lessons like that don’t get taught in kids film enough because it’s entirely stupid. Early on in the film a there’s a throwaway gag about Ray father fart being on the level of a nuclear meltdown. I’ll give Stephen Langford credit for expecting kids to know what nuclear power is, but at the same time are you really going to compare a fart to a nuclear meltdown without stating some clever similarities. That is sadly a missed opportunity for a possible funny joke. Now in the “climax” the kids are captured and the villainess wants to suck out the blood of Ray’s dog to duplicate the invisible serum. Ray has the idea to tell his friend to fart to get save the day and it works. The fart is so toxic that the victim says “My eyes are melting” and eventually falling into the pool without moving. Don’t worry he’s alive, and yes that how’s the film major conflict is solved.
The production values are very low. For example, from an exterior shot you see a building of a so call laboratory, but on the inside of that building literally looks like the inside of someone house. That laboratory does in any way shape or form resembles a lab. It’s also possible the film crew didn’t have enough money to shoot many scenes as the camera holds onto a scene without cutting. Never once is a long take really required since the dialogue and humor are simple. I will say I almost giggle during the opening credits as someone listed with the name Lucky Bear was playing Harry the Dog. Yes it’s an animal, but makes you curious who names a dog Lucky Bear. The music is original and too bland. Every song sounds cheery with heavy emphasis on reusing a single guitar string for three songs with the singer hiding bad lyrics behind louder instruments. Ian Tucker, Alexander G. Ekert, and Charlotte Dean are children who carry the film all who cannot act. They can come across as annoying muttering their lines, but compare to the adults who should have more experience are worst. All the adult actors underplay or are over the top in their role. Believing doing the most zany movement or the silliest faces can make a scene funny. The film opening credit list someone named Lucky Bear came closer to making me laugh than any of the actor in the film.
Dude, Where’s My Dog?! is punishment for misbehaved kids. It has bad acting especially from the kids actor that can annoy you, terrible humor, and feeling a lot longer than it actually. It’s a trite family film that is best used to punish rather than entertain.