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Review by Steve Rhodes
3 stars out of 4
Going into GOOD BOY!, I figured that it would be either silly fun or
insufferably stupid. The trailers had me worried that it would be the latter.
Instead, I was delightfully surprised to find it to be neither. Something like
a mix of E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL and CATS & DOGS, it is a wonderfully sweet
family film for all ages.
The story concerns an alien dog, Hubble (beautifully voiced by Matthew
Broderick), who has come to earth to investigate rumors that humans rather than
dogs are in control. Determining which group is in charge becomes the movie's
on-going joke. For me, the issue was definitively decided in the film's
funniest line, when one of the dogs declares to Owen Baker (Liam Aiken),
Hubble's nominal master, "It may look like people are in charge, but you don't
see us picking up their poop."
"Everyone thinks they have the smartest dog in the universe," Owen's Dad (Kevin
Nealon) tells his son, who, soon after he adopts Hubble from the pound, begins
to suspect that Hubble is no ordinary pooch. The story has Owen, and only
Owen, being able to communicate with Hubble and the rest of the dogs. It seems
that Hubble -- whose real name is Canid 3942 -- has been sent to earth to grade
the earth dogs and to investigate a report that they've been letting humans
rule the planet. The story lets us in on all kinds of doggie gossip, including
the fact that coyotes are just "homesick crybabies" who howl, not at the moon,
but at "the home star," a.k.a. Sirius, the Dog Star.
All of the voice talent is put to excellent use by first-time director John
Robert Hoffman. In addition to Broderick's charming work, Brittany Murphy,
Carl Reiner, Donald Faison, Cheech Martin and Delta Burke voice their talking
dog roles perfectly. Even Vanessa Redgrave drops by to do a voice cameo as the
Greater Dane, the canine supreme leader. She is certainly no mangy mutt, and
neither is the movie. Don't miss this enchantingly sweet picture, especially
if you've got a family to take with you.
GOOD BOY! runs 1:28. The film is rated PG for "some mild crude humor" and
would be acceptable for all ages.
Copyright © 2003 Steve Rhodes