Beethoven's 4th (2001)
With Beethoven living with Richard Newton (Judge Reinhold - Homegrown) and his family things have not changed as he is still a handful and trying their patience to the limit especially Richard's wife Beth (Julia Sweeney - Clockstoppers). In order to stop their mother sending Beethoven to the farm the children secretly enrol him in a doggy obedience class but it is there where he switches places with Michelangelo the identical St. Bernard belonging to the rich Sedgewick family. The only difference between the large dogs is that unlike Beethoven Michelangelo is well behaved leading to chaos when Beethoven starts wrecking the Sedgewick mansion whilst Richard wonders how comes his dog is suddenly a saint who flushes the toilet rather than drinking out of it. But there is trouble a foot as the Sedgewick's butler has plans to kidnap Michelangelo and hold him to ransom.
There is a fundamental issue when studios decide to make sequels to children's movies, by the time the third and subsequent movies come along the crowd who enjoyed the first movie have usually grown up and whilst a mix of curiosity or loyalty may draw them back to a sequel usually they will have outgrown the simple amusement on offer. That is the issue when it comes to "Beethoven's 4th" as the original "Beethoven" was released 9 years earlier in 1992 and as such the audience who enjoyed the simple pleasures of the mischievous St. Bernard have grown beyond the simple humour and storyline on offer in this fourth movie. Now in fairness that isn't an issue for its intended single digit audience and works in the fact that after watching this they might want to watch the previous 3 movies but as I said for grown ups who decide to give this a go off of their warm memories of the first movie will find it frankly quite lame.
As to "Beethoven's 4th" well they give us a canine version of the "Prince and the Pauper" as Beethoven ends up switching places with a similar looking St Bernard but one which comes from a wealthy family where it is both pampered and well behaved. As such we have Beethoven's owner Richard Newton mystified when his dog is suddenly well behaved whilst of course the disobedient Beethoven causes chaos in the home of the wealthy Sedgewick family. Of course there is more to it than that with a bit of nefarious activity going on as well but it certainly isn't the most original of movies.
What is very obvious when it comes to "Beethoven's 4th" is that whilst we have the humour of the disobedient Beethoven with an amusing scene where he ends up with a toilet seat around his neck when he drinks from the toilet the weight of the movie rests on Judge Reinhold. Now Reinhold is good at clowning up and has the same comic qualities of Daniel Stern which means there is plenty of simple visual humour for a young audience but none of it is that great for grown ups.
What this all boils down to is that "Beethoven's 4th" on one hand works for a young audience and will probably lead them to watch the previous three movies. But for those who enjoyed the original "Beethoven" it ends up feeling quite lame.
Tags: Dog Movies
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