Netflix UK film review: Underdog
Ivan Radford | On 04, Dec 2013Reading time: 1 mins
Director: Frederik Du Chau
Cast: Jason Lee, Peter Dinklage, James Belushi
Watch online: Netflix UK / Amazon Prime / iTunes / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / Google Play
There is no need to fear, for Underdog is here. Or at least that’s what we’re told by a talking, flying, rhyming, drooling, animated superhero. Our advice? Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Known as Shoeshine in public, the boisterous beagle (voiced by Jason Lee) gets pumped full of magical juices by the pills of Doctor Simon Barsinister (Dinklage). But while he may look like Tyrion Lannister, don’t be fooled: this scientist has evil plans for revenge. Or something.
Why would you care about that, though, when you can go all gooey-eyed over Shoeshine’s wooing of Polly (Adams), the cute young bitch from the block? Or be moved by the character-building family troubles between his owner, Jack (Neuburger), and his stepfather, Dan? The movie’s misjudged attempts at cliched storylines never quite ring true, leaving us with only Dinklage to enjoy – and his dumb sidekick (voiced by Kronk from The Emperor’s New Groove), who’s working his way through a thesaurus. Sadly, it isn’t very funny. Or humorous. Or amusing.
Despite the cute canine graphics and plot-based efforts, there’s nothing really to engage with in this mild dog’s turd of a tale. Underdog just doesn’t have any bite. It’s only worth seeing for the cheesy re-workings of its masterful theme song. And even they leave you whining for the rendition by Ted’s band from Scrubs.
Underdog is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription, and on Amazon Prime Video, as part of a £5.99 monthly subscription.