Firehouse Dog (2 stars)

(PG) 111min


Rexxx is a pampered pooch star in the Rin Tin Tin mould, apparently known and loved by millions as the star of blockbusters such as Jurassic Bark. But when a stunt on his latest film, Terrier at 20,000 Feet, goes horribly wrong, Rexx falls out of the sky and into the life of schoolboy chum, Shane, (Bridge to Terabithia’s Josh Hutcherson). He also gains a more worthwhile métier, putting his tricks to use as the fearlessly brave mascot of the local fire brigade.

The moderate success of 2005’s Lassie remake is presumably to blame for the long-shelved release of Rexx’s tepid adventures, which belong firmly with Greyfriars Bobby in the poop tray of modern multiplex cinema. Oddly, the bonding chats about responsibility between Shane and his father Connor (Bruce Greenwood, slumming) work much better than the mismatched stunts and cute CGI, suggesting that director Todd Holland would have been better to play the whole film with a straight face, skipping the shonky Hollywood satire. The triple X status of Rexxx’s name suggests that he’s also hot stuff in terms of doggy-style action, but keeping his romance with a long-haired Dalmatian tactfully off-screen is the only real badge of merit in this dog-eared enterprise.

(Eddie Harrison)

General release from Fri 20 Jul.

Firehouse Dog

  • 2 stars
  • 2007
  • US/Canada
  • 1h 51min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Todd Holland
  • Written by: Claire-Dee Lim, Mike Werb, Michael Colleary
  • Cast: Josh Hutcherson, Bruce Greenwood, Dash Mihok, Steven Culp, Bill Nunn

Rexxx, the canine star of movies such as 'Jurassic Bark' and 'Terrier at 20,000 Feet', falls into the life of schoolboy Shane (Hutcherson) when a stunt goes horribly wrong and he gains a more useful vocation as a mascot at the local fire station. Clumsy Hollywood satire, mismatched stunts and cutesy CGI place this firmly…

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