From the director of Shanghai Noon and Failure To Launch comes Marmaduke, a comedy film about a family and its clumsy great dane just trying to fit in to a new neighbourhood in Orange County.
When reviewing a movie that is essentially about a bunch of talking dogs one needs to compare it to other movies about..well…talking dogs. And Marmaduke is no Milo and Otis, its not even a Beverly Hills Chihuauha.
The opening weekend in the US it grossed less than Snow Dogs, and half as much as Garfield, another comic adaption. Its poor performance may not be repeated in Australian Cinemas, due in part to its release coinciding with school holidays and the latest Shrek having plenty of cinema time between now and then; but if you want to see this get in quick because Im predicting a short run for Marmaduke.
Why? Because children were running up and down the aisles and trying their best to climb every seat possible at the screening I attended, and they got the film very very wrong: instead of making a light-hearted comedic approach they concentrated too much on the characters journey and the moral storyline, which was preceded by a long introduction from the character of Marmaduke, voiced by Owen Wilson.
They had a great cast for the voices which included Kiefer Sutherland, Emma Stone and Marlon Wayans but I cant help but feel that the script they were given gave them little to work with.
Am I being too hard? After all, Marmaduke is aimed at children and families and is meant to be a light hearted comedy. But compared to others in the comedic genre of talking dogs, its a loser.
If you have children and have nothing else to watch at all, go see Marmaduke. Otherwise avoid at all costs, as they will love the last five minutes but they will need huge quantities of popcorn, to stay still and sane to reach that point.
Im giving it two out of five.