Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.
USA/Australia, 2001. Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Pictures, NPV Entertainment, Mad Chance, Zide-Perry Productions, BenderSpink. Screenplay by John Requa, Glenn Ficarra. Cinematography by Julio Macat. Produced by Christopher DeFaria, Andrew Lazar, Craig Perry, Warren Zide. Music by John Debney. Production Design by James D. Bissell. Costume Design by Tish Monaghan. Film Editing by Rick Finney, Michael A. Stevenson.
Bad special effects and poor editing mar what could have been a charming family for all ages in this insipid comedy. It’s the old cat vs. dog war gone high-tech when a Beagle puppy (voiced by Tobey Maguire) accidentally takes a Doberman Pinscher spy’s job as a pet for a doctor who is developing a formula that will cure human allergies to dogs. Naturally, the cat network led by Sean Hayes wants to destroy any possibilities of the doctor achieving his goals, so it’s up to Maguire to make sure nothing bad happens to his charge. Elizabeth Perkins also stars as one of the humans in this sexist comedy where all the animals seem to be male except for the old hooker dog played by Susan Sarandon, and all the cats are relegated to cardboard villain characters while the dogs get fully fleshed personalities. Obviously, cat lovers are warned to stay away, but then again so is everyone else with half a brain and an age above six.