See Spot Run
Just the boys. Gordon and James (Arquette and Jones) play with Spot ... in a scene cut from the final film.
dir John Whitsell
scr George Gallo, Gregory Poirier, Danny Baron, Chris Faber
with David Arquette, Michael Clarke Duncan, Angus T Jones, Paul Sorvino, Anthony Anderson, Leslie Bibb, Joe Viterelli, Steven R Schirripia, Kim Hawthorne, Kavan Smith, Peter Bryant, Fiona Hogan
release US 2.Mar.01; UK 25.May.01
01/US 1h37
2 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
Well, it had to come to this: a gross-out film for the whole family! It's all pretty harmless, actually, centring on fart and poo jokes that will keep the kids giggling helplessly while the adults seek out the rare flash of wit to keep them from being bored out of their minds. Gordon (Arquette) is a loveably quirky mailman with a crush on his neighbour (Bibb), with whom he doesn't have a chance. But he's already won over her 6-year-old son James (Jones). After a freak set of circumstances that only happen in the movies, he ends up taking care of James for a few days, during which the duo adopt a stray dog. What they don't know is that the dog is a top FBI agent, on the witness relocation programme because a mob boss (Sorvino) has taken out a contract on him. His burly FBI agent owner (Duncan) is beside himself with worry when the pooch disappears. Antics ensue.

It's completely juvenile and silly, and very little of the humour ever strikes a chord of any kind. Yet the film has an endearing quality that makes it just about bearable. Besides the cast, which is unafraid to do anything for a laugh, the filmmakers continually let us know how stupid it all is--we're not supposed to take the plot seriously for a moment. This undercutting of the film's biggest weakness--a mindmumbing plot--goes a long way to making it rather enjoyably lame. And all the heartwarming family stuff never gets too syrupy. Arquette is a surprisingly agreeable leading man--surprising because he's such an irritating bit player. And Duncan gives his character a nice little twist--the big tough guy who's more than a little embarrassed to discover he has a soft side. But it's a pity there aren't nearly enough solid laughs for anyone above age 12.
vulgarity, innuendo cert PG 15.May.01

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2001 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall