Review: Underdog, Bourne Ultimatum and More

Underdog opens tonight, but the good people over at Buenea Vista Pictures decided not to host press screenings until after most weekly's print deadlines. But never fear, Underdog is here ... now.

But before we get to that, if you're looking for reviews of other movies opening this weekend, try these:

Bourne Ultimatum

Becoming Jane



El Cantante

Goya's Ghosts

Hot Rod

Ten Canoes

Poor Underdog, ending up Disney’s bitch and working for the folks who snuffed Old Yeller. The pill-popping canine crime-fighter from the 1960s Total TeleVision cartoon comes to the big screen as a realistically (I guess that’s what you’d call it) computer-animated beagle who talks in Jason Lee’s pleasantly scruffy Earlspeak. Only now he’s the agent of bonding between a widowed ex-cop (Oliver Stone -- oops, James Belushi) and his sullen son (Alex Neuberger), whose coming together forms the movie’s emotional arc. It was probably a good idea not to traumatize kids with the static, violent weirdness of the old TV show, but director Frederik Du Chau and his three screenwriters haven’t replaced it with anything more memorable: Even the promising team of Peter Dinklage’s mad scientist Simon Barsinister and Patrick Warburton’s henchman Cad turns out to be a bust. But Underdog does get an upgrade for the show’s Sweet Polly Purebred, here a literal horndog (voiced by Amy Adams) who dreams of going “off-leash” with the hero: “There isn’t a hose cold enough to break that up.” The running time is 84 minutes. To answer your question: Yes, there are “outtakes.” -- Jim Ridley

Rated PG 84 min.

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Amy Haimerl