Shaggy Dog, The

In far off Tibet, in the foothills of the Himalayas, a Buddhist monastery is home to a 300 year-old shaggy dog. A biogenetic company, headed by Dr. Kozac (Robert Downey, Jr.) manages to steal the dog, supposedly to provide a way for the company’s owner to live longer. Actually, he wants to find a way to make himself a very rich man.

The smart dog (at 300 years and counting, he must have a lot of life experience!) escapes from the lab where genetic testing goes on.  Lawyer Dave Douglas’ (Tim Allen) family find it, but Dave doesn’t like dogs. He calls the dog pound and the dog manages to bite him. Soon, Dave is drooling, barking, growling, and running across front yards on all fours. And the chase is on.

The Shaggy Dog franchise has been around for awhile, beginning with the classic 1959 film (based on a novel by Feliz Salten) that starred Fred MacMurray, and grew into forgettable sequels, a remake, and TV offshoots.

This 2006 version, directed by Brian Robbins (One Tree Hill), is pleasant enough. It’s very much a family film with positive messages supporting communication in the family and the dangers of messing around in genetics for profit.

The Shaggy Dog is not the funniest film I have ever seen, but as re-makes go, it’s entertaining enough.

You’ve know how studios often put the funniest parts of a weak comedy in the previews that lead to much disappointment after paying beaucoup bucks to go to the theater – only to discover those are the only funny parts of the film?  At least the new The Shaggy Dog has more comedy that the previews show; at best, your younger children will enjoy the movie and you will have something to talk together about afterwards.

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