Release Date: April 4th, 2007 by Twentieth Century Fox.
The Cast: Josh Hutcherson, Bruce Greenwood, Bill Nunn, Scotch Ellis Loring, Mayte Garcia, Teddy Sears, Steven Culp, Bree Turner, Dash Mihok.
Directed by Todd Holland.
BASIC PREMISE: 12-year-old Shane (Hutcherson) finds Rexxx, a dog that shows off its amazing stunts at a firehouse, and tries to find its rightful owner. ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Although it doesn’t break any new ground, Firehouse Dog does have enough charm to be mildly entertaining. Rexxx, a celebrity dog, becomes just an ordinary dog after falling in an aerial stunt and its owner (Mihok) presumes that it’s dead. Meanwhile, Conner (Greenwood) becomes a firehouse captain when the former captain, his brother, dies in a fire. The crux of the plot, though, is the bond between Rexxx and Conner’s son, Shane as well as how Rexxx becomes the mascot for the firehouse. This adorable canine dog not only has charm but can perform amazing stunts which makes it the center of the media’s attention. Little does Shane know that it’s actually a celebrity dog that starred in movies like Jurassic Bark and The Fast and the Furious. Well-cast Josh Hutcherson, who can also be found in the gem Little Manhattan and the recent Bridge to Terabithia, also adds some charm. The screenplay by co-writers Claire-Dee Lim, Mike Werb and Michael Collearty doesn’t have intense drama like in Fluke or any truly hilarious scenes like in Beethoven. It follows a predictable formula full of clichés and contrivance, but at least it manages to be harmless, kid-friendly and charming—especially for dog-lovers. Be sure to stay through the credits for many photos of pet dogs, some that have very odd names.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: None is required or desired.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None, as long as you suspend your disbelief.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 2
IN A NUTSHELL: Unsurprising and contrived, but very charming and kid-friendly.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: DVD
The "F" Menu