The Shaggy Dog Review

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When a lawyer Dave Douglas (Tim Allen) representing a scientist who tests on animals (Downey Jr) is bitten by one of the canine subjects, Dave turns into a dog himself. His best hope of communicating his problem is to his own kids, with whom he's not spent much time lately.


After the recent success of Freaky Friday, Disney continues to mine its own supernatural-comedy vault for this remake of the 1959 family feature. This time it’s a man, not a boy, who’s transformed into a sheepdog: Tim Allen’s Deputy DA Dave Douglas, who’s representing a scientist (Robert Downey Jr.) secretly performing animal experiments. Hence the dog bite that starts Dave twitching, growling and turning into a full-on cat-chasing mutt.

Missing numerous opportunities for humour and busying itself with a conspiracy plot unlikely to appeal to the age group at which it is aimed, Allen’s U-certificate version of Rob Schneider in The Animal is amusing at times, and the support cast (Kristin Davis, Danny Glover, Philip Baker Hall) are generally pleasing, but despite the odd laugh, this tale lacks bite.

Man becomes mutt in this inoffensive, uneven comedy that fails to make the most of its comic potential or familiar cast.