Snow Dogs (2002) starring Cuba Gooding Jr., James Coburn, Sisqó, Nichelle Nichols, M. Emmet Walsh, Graham Greene, Joanna Bacalso directed by Brian Levant Movie Review

Snow Dogs (2002)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Cuba Gooding Jr., Joanna Bacalso and Graham Greene in Snow Dogs (2002)

Not a Total Dog

Sometimes it surprises me the opinion of other movie critics when it comes to family movies because they seem to forget these movies are not meant to be clever entertainment just fun. That brings me to "Snow Dogs" a movie which seems to get panned by so many when in fact it works. Okay so we are not talking clever entertainment but it is a movie packed full of gags, facial expressions and simple slapstick which will entertain children for its entire length.

As far as Ted Brooks (Cuba Gooding Jr. - Rat Race) was concerned the people who raised him were his parents and lead him in to a successful career in dentistry. But that all changes when he receives papers summoning him to Tolketna, Alaska as he learns he was in fact his adopted and his real mother has passed away. Leaving the sun and heat of Miami to head to the frozen North Ted discovers his real mum has left him her home and her team of racing dogs. Just as he is preparing to leave attractive bar owner Barb (Joanna Bacalso) tells him the secret of who is father is, much to his shock his father is James Johnson, aka the scary Thunder Jack (James Coburn - The Nutty Professor). When Ted gets short change from Jack he decides he is going to hang around and prove himself by becoming a dog racer.

James Coburn in Snow Dogs (2002)

Okay so when it comes to the storyline "Snow Dogs" is both slim and utterly daft with a black dentist from Miami heading to the frozen North where he discovers that his father is white and cantankerous. This leads to Ted trying to prove himself by entering a dog race something he has never done before. That is about it but it is enough as a vehicle for plenty of humour, in fact more humour than you think was possible to squeeze into just short of 100 minutes.

Now as to that humour well it isn't anything clever as it ranges from Ted being a fish out of water to plenty of quirky characters. But the humour works be it Ted ending up falling over all the time on ice or a run in with a skunk. Yes there is not a single clever gag in the entire movie but they run thick and fast and most are amusing especially for children when it comes to the team of dogs giving Ted a run around.

As for the acting well Cuba Gooding Jr. as he makes a fool of himself again and again is easy to like and his constant face pulling sells many of the gags. Plus their is James Coburn giving us a Jack Palance style performance as the cantankerous Thunder Jack who all the locals are scared of. But it is Joanna Bacalso as Barb who makes the biggest impression because not only is her character loveable but she also has a winning smile.

What this all boils down to is that "Snow Dogs" isn't a great comedy, it lacks a decent storyline or original gags to be great but it works as family entertainment with the fun running thick and fast.

Tags: Dog Movies