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Air Buddies
cast: Trevor Wright, and Slade Pearce

director: Robert Vince

90 minutes (PG) 2006
Buena Vista NTSC DVD Region 1 retail

RATING: 1/10
reviewed by Noell Wolfgram Evans
Every film should offer something to its viewer - laughter, connection, escape, remembrance, a lesson of history. Annoyance and anger should not be options on that list but that is exactly what I felt when watching the direct to DVD release of Air Buddies. Why? Why do we need this film? Somewhere, some studio vice president must have knocked their head pretty hard and thought they were a dog. There can be no other explanation as to why someone would choose to continue the horrible Air Bud franchise (three words that never belong together) with this horrible film. For the uninitiated (consider yourselves lucky) the previous adventures of Air Bud were - Air Bud, Air Bud: Golden Receiver, Air Bud: World Pup, Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch, and Air Bud: Spike's Back.

Air Buddies tells the story of the children of Air Bud - B-Dawg, Bud-Dha, RoseBud, MudBud, and Budderball - who must (surprise, surprise) work together to reunite the family. Forced humour, un-suspenseful action (it's a bad sign when even a four-year-old loses interest) and non-emotive drama scenes are all played through by this band of well-trained dogs and forgettable humans. The film has only one redeeming value - it features the voice of the late, great Don Knotts. Unfortunately not even his great comic power can save this film.

An additional gold star should go to cinematographer Mike Southon who not only managed to not throw his camera out the window, but also was able to stay awake enough to keep the film in focus. Whatever he made on this picture should be doubled as survivor's pay.

I get it, these dogs can do anything - talk, play any sport possible, outsmart humans. The only thing a dog can't do, apparently, is make a good or even watchable movie.

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