Karate DogReviewed By David Cornelius
Posted 08/21/06 23:05:42
There is no reason at all, none at all, to bother with a movie as awful as “Karate Dog.” You know it. I know it. The folks at the video store know it. But somewhere out there, there is somebody who’s actually considering spending eighty-some minutes watching it anyway, probably because he or she has stumbled upon it and thought, ever so briefly, “oh, this looks cute.” So let me direct this entire review to you, the solitary person who might actually entertain the thought of viewing “Karate Dog:” Don’t. Just don’t. Seriously. DON’T.“But Dave,” you say, “it’s got a dog doing karate in it! I like dogs! And oh, look, Jon Voight is in it. I like him, too. And hey! Chevy Chase as the voice of the Karate Dog! Isn’t that just adorable? I love ‘Vegas Vacation.’”
Now, imagine I’m standing next to you at the video store. I have just smacked the DVD out of your hand and, for good measure, slapped you upside the head. I may even just start shouting “No!!” at you, like you’re a family pet who just pooped on the couch. Hey, that’s just about right – wanting to watch “Karate Dog” is like wanting to poop on the couch. Both deserve a stern yell and a smack on the nose with a rolled-up magazine.
You see, you silly fool, “Karate Dog” is a made-for-basic-cable flick directed by none other than Bob Clark, the once great comedic filmmaker whose career has spiraled so far down that he spent the last decade churning out crap like the “Baby Geniuses” movies. The major change in quality of output from this guy makes me refuse to believe it’s the same man who once made “A Christmas Story.” Perhaps he was replaced years ago by an evil twin or some android while nobody was looking.
(Seriously, what has age done to him? His next project is slated to be a remake of his own horror-comedy “Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things,” only with – no kidding – rapping zombies. Sigh.)
“Karate Dog” is just as inept, obnoxious, and ill-conceived as both “Baby Geniuses” movies, and no, you do not want to see those either, don’t make me smack you again. Anyway. There’s a dog named Cho Cho, and he can talk to humans (with Fletch’s voice!), and his kindly owner (the late Pat Morita) gets killed, and Cho Cho is the only witness, and a dopey FBI agent (Simon Rex, perhaps the only human in history to have been a gay porn star, an MTV host, and a star of a “Scary Movie”) needs his help in tracking down the killer. There’s a subplot about the FBI agent falling in love with another agent (Jaime Pressly), and something about a talking computer (voiced by Lori Petty), and something about Jon Voight, who once again plays an idiotic villain in Bob Clark movie, which suggests he’s aiming to take over Christopher Walken’s job of cool star who shows up in very terrible movies every now and then, just to make us wonder if we need to put him in a home for a while. This time, Voight’s a billionaire who wants to something very evil involving the dogs of the world, although I can’t remember what it is, because I was too busy crying over his bad Southern accent and worse ponytail.
Anyway, Cho Cho is a master of martial arts, hence the title. He also winds up as lead singer of an all-pet band, singing a version of “Chantilly Lace” so cloying it that could create a brand new Day the Music Died.
None of it is remotely enjoyable. Most of it is peppered with amateurish direction, lousy comic timing, the worst possible punchlines, and an unyielding parade of stupidity. As a leading man, Rex is such a non-personality that you could replace him with a wet sock and you’d more or less get the same freaking movie. And because all of that isn’t enough, Clark and screenwriters Steven Paul and Gregory Poppen (yup, they also penned “Superbabies 2”) make sure that very little of any of this is right for kids. The early violence is rather heavy, while Chase’s moronic one-liners often make no sense to youths who might not get a gag about, say, the Kennedy assassination.“But Dave,” you whine, “it’s got a dog doing karate! I want to see a dog doing karate!” Sigh. Have you learned nothing? “Karate Dog” is not a cute movie, it’s not a funny movie, it’s not a likable movie, it’s not a watchable movie. It’s lousiness at its most extreme. If you rent it, I might just have to come over to your house and poop on your couch. That’ll learn ya.
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