June 6th, 2010 | by News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP

Marmaduke Can Shred!: Marmaduke Reviewed

The big screen adaptation of the literary classic Marmaduke wasn't screened in time for WW's press deadlines. So we forced AP Kryza to see it in the theaters. Bad dog.

Marmaduke

Marmaduke

WW Critic's Rating: 4

“Marmaduke can shred!” exclaims an announcer as the 200-pound Great Dane hops on a surfboard and gets all Point Break during an all-dog surfing contest. He rips the curl, then does a double back-flip. Marmaduke's got doggystyle to spare.

Turns out there's a lot of shit movie Marmaduke can do that never happened in Brad Anderson's inexplicably long-running comic strip about the awkwardly large canine. Most importantly, movie Marmaduke manages to be more irritating on screen than he is in newspapers.

In a casting choice that will in no way positively affect his recent battle with depression, Owen Wilson voices the dog (who couldn't speak in the comic) as a feisty, pop-culture-referencing slacker. When his owner takes a marketing job for an organic dog-food company, he's whisked to Orange County, where the dog park plays like an episode of The O.C.

That's right. Marmaduke is essentially Can't Buy Me Love meets She's All That… with pooches. The Duke befriends a group of nerdy mutts, then sells them out to hang out under the pier with the ultra-cool purebreds. Along the way, he pees on things, plays Dance Dance Revolution, chases a Mexican cat, rides in a convertible, has a romantic date, does the robot, wears sunglasses, hosts a house party, farts a lot and repeats the catchphrase “Let's get our bark on” repeatedly.

Will Marmaduke regret being mean to his nerdy dog friends in order to throw a bone into a purebred collie? Will a dog drag its butthole across somebody's new carpet? Will Marmaduke's teenager-like behavior cause every human within earshot to whiningly shout “Oh Mar-Ma-Dook” at least six times?

Yes. Yes on all counts.

The humans in the picture, among them an embarrassed-looking William H. Macy, can't hear what the dogs are saying. They're the lucky ones. Wilson and the rest of the vocal cast—which includes Kiefer Sutherland, George Lopez, Emma Stone, Sam Elliot, Fergie and others—seem to have phoned lines like “who let the dogs out” into a voicemail account.

Oh, and a fucking Great Dane surfs.

Marmaduke makes Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel seem like King Lear in comparison. It's essentially a dumbed-down (!) version of Beverly Hills Chihuahua with extra body-fluid humor (!!). If we're really running this low on material for movies, perhaps film execs should flip to a Sunday comics section that's changed its lineup in the past 20 years. Like the messes its titular character relishes in leaving all over the house, Marmaduke stinks to high hell. PG.

Broadway Metro 4 Theatres, Century 16 Cedar Hills Crossing, Century at Clackamas Town Center, Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99 Stadium 11, Cinemas Bridgeport Village Stadium 18&IMAX, City Center Stadium 12, Cornelius 9 Cinemas, Division Street Stadium 13, Evergreen Parkway Stadium 13, Hilltop 9 Cinema, Lloyd Mall 8 Cinema, Movies On TV Stadium 16, Oak Grove 8 Cinemas, Sandy Cinemas, Sherwood Stadium 10, Tigard 11 Cinemas, Wilsonville Stadium 9 Cinema

Related material: Have you checked out the infinitely more entertaining Marmaduke Explained?
 
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