Friday, July 9, 2010
Marmaduke - *1/2
Chalk this one up to that rare group of films that are bad enough not to be good, but weird and absurd enough not to be awful. Marmaduke is a talking animal film in which the main character is a pet dog who frequently breaks the fourth wall in a way that wouldn't be at all charming if it weren't Owen Wilson voicing the most awkward-looking animal in recent memory. We see him run, jump, and surf his way into the hearts of the California dog park pedigree circle while bumbling the romance between the prissy girlfriend of the Top Dog (voiced by Kiefer Sutherland), and his real love, the humble, homely-looking friend, while overstaying his welcome with his owner and family, throwing dog-parties while they're away and pretending to rough up the cat to gain face with the pedigrees. Yup, it doesn't make a lick of sense, and that's pretty much everything it has going for it... well, that and the awkward mouth movements when the animals speak. But somehow it invites you to laugh at it often enough to make the experience a lot less painful than it should be.