Writer: Lai Swee WeiWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Beverly Hills Chihuahua”, “Garfield”, “Cats & Dogs”
"Marmadukeeeeeeeeee!" - Uh-oh, here comes trouble.
With a comic strip that wasn't even that funny to begin with, this feature film will make it even more unappealing. The story surrounding a clumsy Great Dane who seems to wreck havoc wherever he goes, just doesn't cut it as good entertainment. Moreover, the CGI effects on these animals makes you wish of the days where "Homeward Bound" or "Lassie" was still around. If you had paid attention to the trailer, you would have noticed the awful image of a group of dogs dancing in a park - a pain to watch.
What happened to the days when animals were on a real adventure and didn't have to have any silly facial expressions? In the film, Marmaduke (Owen Wilson) and his suburban family moves to Orange County, California and is having a tad bit of trouble fitting in. Soon, Phil Winslow (Lee Pace) takes Marmaduke to the dog park, his apparent "workplace" as he takes on a marketing chief position for a California-based organic pet food company.
While at the park, Marmaduke meets a couple of Mutts, Mazie (Emma Stone) the kind-hearted Queensland Heller mix, Raisin (Steve Coogan) the intellectual Dachshund mix, and Giuseppe (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) the timid Chinese Crested mix, who shows him around. Essentially, the park serves as a high school for dogs, feeding off the idea whereby Marmaduke, being this overgrown, awkward teenager is trying to fit in at his new "school". Audiences will be introduced to the jocks, cheerleader, drama geeks, shroom addicts, and juvenile delinquents. Later on, we meet The Pedigrees which include Bosco (Kiefer Sutherland), the group's "alpha male" and reigning surf champion; Bosco's girlfriend, the elegant Collie Jezebel (Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas), whom Marmaduke is crushing on; and Bosco's shifty cohorts, the mini-Doberman Pinschers, Lightning and Thunder (Marlon Wayans and Damon Wayans, Jr.). Inevitably, Marmaduke attempts to join the hard-to-crack Pedigree clique and is helped by his "step-brother" Carlos (George Lopez), a Russian Blue Cat. All the animals had their own distinct characteristics and that was a plus point for this movie.
However, as fun as it sounds in the beginning, the story just doesn't seem to be funny enough to tickle ones funny bone. Instead, laughs are practically nonexistent. Although it keeps to its naughty, misbehaved Great Dane attributes as in the comics, the story is hardly charming and the ending is unexpectedly over the top for this average movie.
The human actors were terribly played out especially Judy Greer who plays housewife Debbie Winslow, who is never irked at the annoying things Marmaduke does. Meanwhile, while the voice actors were fine. Overall, "Marmaduke" fails on entertainment value and is in need of a better script.Cinema Online, 30 May 2010