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November 2002                                          SITE MAP   SEARCH
Snow Dogs
cast: Cuba Gooding Jr, James Coburn, Sisqo, Graham Greene, Brian Doyle Murray

director: Brian Levant

97 minutes (PG) 2002
Buena Vista VHS rental
[released 18 November]

RATING: 7/10
reviewed by Robin Lanry
At the risk of being asked to turn in my cool dude card, I have to say that I enjoyed this movie. Oh, sure, the other critics hated it and probably rightly so, but with a guy like Cuba Gooding Jr playing the lead and a bunch of cute huskies hamming it up for the camera, what's not to love? Chocked full of sparkling clean humour and charming leading characters this is a movie I'd recommend, especially to the young and the young at heart. Sure, the dog sled race is about as realistic as Wily Coyote coming back to life after having another anvil dropped on his head. (By the way, where do you find an anvil in the Grand Canyon anyway?) And talk about predictable - it's easy to figure out that Ted Jones (Gooding) will find his real parents, tough it out in Alaska, and get the beautiful Alaskan Native girl (Joanna Bascalso)? The plot of this story comes from a book called Winterland by Gary Paulson, a famous children's book author (Hatchet). A young dentist from Miami learns that he has been named by a woman from Alaska, as a beneficiary in her will. When Ted questions his mother (Star Trek's Nichelle Nichols) she informs Ted that he's adopted.
   I have to say that I was put off on seeing this film at first because of the trailers, which advertised talking dogs living it up in Miami. Now that sounds dumb. Not that the movie I saw didn't have its silly points. The director seemed to have Gooding slipping on the ice whenever possible and looking like a fool, though Gooding plays it all with rousing good humour. James Coburn, who usually plays a grouchy, villainous type, does so again but with a whole lot more fun this time. Graham Greene who usually plays the Native American wise man (Dances With Wolves) plays a Native Alaskan this time, one who may be the world's worst golfer.
   Rent this movie but first check your intellect at the door, relax and enjoy! A group of giggling kids in the room with you will help you forget the movie's total departure from reality.