This afternoon after attending Easter services and eating our huge dinner, the kids gathered around the big television to watch what any red-blooded American child would… Underdog (ok… so perhaps not that many). I was pleasantly surprised by the live-action version of the cartoon I remember watching as a child. It remained fairly faithful to the cartoon rekindling enough memories for the old and being fun for the young ones who probably do not remember the television series.
A bomb-sniffing beagle is released from the police force after he mistakenly sniffs out a ham instead of a bomb. While roaming the streets, the dog is captured by the evil scientist Dr. Simon Barsinister and is injected with a serum which gives him amazing superpowers. The dog escapes and becomes the pet of a security guard (played by Jim not John Belushi) and his teenage son, Jack and is given the name Shoeshine.
After discovering Shoeshine’s powers, Jack decides to keep the secret to himself and convinces the reluctant pooch to use his powers to help those in distress. However as Underdog begins his exploits of daring-do, Simon and his henchman Cad continue to hunt for the beagle to use in their own sinister plot.
Ok… while it may not be the most ambitious movie ever made, Underdog did keep 7 children occupied for 90 minutes. It also had many tie-ins to the cartoon (Shoeshine, Sweet Polly Purebred voiced by Enchanted’s Amy Adams, Simon Barsinister and his sidekick Cad, and Riff-Raff who was voiced by Brad Garrett). It was far better than what I expected. It also had a nice nod to another Disney animated film. Underdog and Sweet Polly’s first date was reminiscent of Lady and the Tramp’s spaghetti dinner (down to the single meatball).