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Marmaduke (2010)

Starring:

Caroline Sunshine

Christopher Mintz-Plasse

Damon Wayans Jr.

Emma Stone

Finley Jacobsen

George Lopez

Judy Greer

Judy Greer

Kiefer Sutherland

Lee Pace

Marlon Wayans

Owen WilsonOwen Wilson

Sam ElliottSam Elliott

Stacy Ferguson

Steve Coogan

Directed by:

Tom Dey

Rating: 4/10

US Certificate: PG

Straight out of the newspaper that made him famous, that big galoot of a Great Dane, Marmaduke (voice of Owen Wilson) is once again up to the shenanigans that only a dog the size of a small pony can get himself into. These shenanigans get sunnier when Marmaduke and his family move to Orange County and he meets a whole new crowd of dogs, including quirky mutt Mazie (voice of Emma Stone), jock dog Bosco (Kiefer Sutherland), and Bosco’s fancy girlfriend Jezebel (voice of Stacey Ferguson). Marmaduke is an outcast at first, but after a staged fight with his kitty pal Carlos (George Lopez), good old Marm is a cool kid, and he has to eventually not only figure out what’s really important in life, but help his human family wok out a few issues of their own.

Seriously, what is there to expect from a talking dog movie based on a comic strip? Not a whole lot. Keep that in mind when you go to see Marmaduke and you won’t be disappointed. There have been worse chatty animal flicks—Furry Vengeance was far more offensive, and that’s just from this year—and kids were laughing throughout this one. It’s a big talking dog! No one expects high art, and no one’s going to get it, but Marmaduke doesn’t make any promises to its desired audience that it doesn’t keep. Dogs make jokes, cats make jokes, there are lots of sight gaga, obvious lessons about popularity and true friends and family are learned, animals dance—what’s the problem?

The problem is, you say, that we should expect MORE for our children, even in movies designed to amuse their age group specifically—look at Toy Story, you say, or Up, or even Babe. Now, those are three of my all-time favorite films, and movies of that caliber have nothing to do really with a movie like Marmaduke, which seems to have been created for the sole purpose of using a great-on-paper voice cast for their star power, making lots of money, and being forgotten soon amidst the summer bombs. Wilson, Lopez, and Lee Pace as the human dad in Marmaduke’s life all perform admirably if forgettably, and it’s always a hoot to hear Sutherland doing a cartoon or animal voice. Nothing here is new, and there aren’t more than five or six jokes throughout (and that may be generous), but this isn’t a movie that was made with adults in mind, and kids will be amused by a ginormous dig no

Straight out of the newspaper that made him famous, that big galoot of a Great Dane, Marmaduke (voice of Owen Wilson) is once again up to the shenanigans that only a dog the size of a small pony can get himself into. These shenanigans get sunnier when Marmaduke and his family move to Orange County and he meets a whole new crowd of dogs, including quirky mutt Mazie (voice of Emma Stone), jock dog Bosco (Kiefer Sutherland), and Bosco’s fancy girlfriend Jezebel (voice of Stacey Ferguson). Marmaduke is an outcast at first, but after a staged fight with his kitty pal Carlos (George Lopez), good old Marm is a cool kid, and he has to eventually not only figure out what’s really important in life, but help his human family wok out a few issues of their own.

Seriously, what is there to expect from a talking dog movie based on a comic strip? Not a whole lot. Keep that in mind when you go to see Marmaduke and you won’t be disappointed. There have been worse chatty animal flicks—Furry Vengeance was far more offensive, and that’s just from this year—and kids were laughing throughout this one. It’s a big talking dog! No one expects high art, and no one’s going to get it, but Marmaduke doesn’t make any promises to its desired audience that it doesn’t keep. Dogs make jokes, cats make jokes, there are lots of sight gaga, obvious lessons about popularity and true friends and family are learned, animals dance—what’s the problem?

The problem is, you say, that we should expect MORE for our children, even in movies designed to amuse their age group specifically—look at Toy Story, you say, or Up, or even Babe. Now, those are three of my all-time favorite films, and movies of that caliber have nothing to do really with a movie like Marmaduke, which seems to have been created for the sole purpose of using a great-on-paper voice cast for their star power, making lots of money, and being forgotten soon amidst the summer bombs. Wilson, Lopez, and Lee Pace as the human dad in Marmaduke’s life all perform admirably if forgettably, and it’s always a hoot to hear Sutherland doing a cartoon or animal voice. Nothing here is new, and there aren’t more than five or six jokes throughout (and that may be generous), but this isn’t a movie that was made with adults in mind, and kids will be amused by a ginormous dog no matter how mediocre the film, so let them have fun and you can hang out in the air conditioned theater and listen to your iPod.

matter how mediocre the film, so let them have fun and you can hang out in the air conditioned theater and listen to your iPod.

It's Got: Good voice cast, Cute animals, Dog dancing

It Needs: Better story, Little more spark, More laughs

Alternatives:

Air Bud, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Homeward Bound

Summary

A light piece of summer fluff with a cute big dog that will make your kids laugh a little bit.

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