Show Dogs is a 2018 American family buddy cop film directed by Raja Gosnell, written by Max Botkin and Marc Hyman and starring Will Arnett, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Natasha Lyonne, Jordin Sparks, Gabriel Iglesias, Shaquille O'Neal, Omar Chaparro and Stanley Tucci. The plot follows a Rottweiler police dog and his human, who go undercover at a prestigious dog show to stop an animal smuggling ring. The film was released in the United States on May 18, 2018.
In a world where humans and sentient dogs co-exist, a macho but lonely Rottweiler police dog named Max (Ludacris) is ordered to go undercover as a primped show dog in a prestigious dog show with his human partner Frank (Will Arnett) to stop an animal smuggling scheme that is using the dog show as a front.
Why It Deserves to Be in the Pound
- Awful attempts at humor. For example, there's numerous fart jokes, bad puns, unfunny jokes and overall immature humor throughout the whole movie.
- Terrible writing.
- Awful CGI used for the dogs, as well as a tiger and a panda, which literally looks like one of the many direct-to-video films involving talking dogs or other animals.
- Lazy soundtrack that, like Beverly Hills Chihuahua, overuses dated music such as "I'm Sexy and I Know It" by LMFAO.
- Much like Sherlock Gnomes, this movie relies too heavily on pop-culture references and Internet trends, such as the scene where Philippe dabs. The worst part about this is that this "dance move" has no reason to be used in anything at all but to pander to modern culture, which may cause some kids to cringe at scenes involving such things. It's also incredibly dated for 2018 standards.
- Another example of the film relying on pop-culture references is when a tiger says "This really is the Life of Pi!". Not only is this not funny in the slightest, but it also makes no sense, considering the tiger isn't even named Pi, but instead Deepak.
- A lot of stupid and forgettable characters. Even Daisy, Max's love interest, is a pointless character.
- Predictable and cliché plot.
- Tries too hard to appeal to moviegoers, kids and parents.
- While the acting is alright for the most part, Ludacris' performance as Max is quite poor. So much so that it's one of the rare cases where an actor would be nominated for a "Worst Supporting Actor" Razzie for a voice performance.
- It is a lame attempt to cash in on the horrible "live-action talking dog" trend that was popularized by the Air Bud franchise as well as Beverly Hills Chihuahua.
- The film sparked a controversy when several critics and parents' groups accused it of including a scene normalizing child grooming.
- Unfortunate implications: In order to get to the show, Max must endure a genital examination, which is routine for contestants. When Max makes it clear that he is uncomfortable with this, he is advised to endure it by going to his "happy place". Later, he is rewarded for putting up with this unwanted touching by advancing to the final round. It's like telling someone, especially a kid, to go into their happy place when sex offenders perform similar actions against them, or worse. In fact, this was so much of an issue that Global Road Entertainment recalled the movie and put out a version with said scene edited out, using said fixed version later for the home video release.
- The idea of people and animals understanding one another is interesting.
- Good acting (especially from the dogs), with the exception of Ludacris.
- Depending on your view, the film can be seen as one of those "so bad, it's good" movies.
- The infamous dog genital scene is cut out of the home video release of the movie, and the dog inspection scene is therefore more brief and quick.
In the United States and Canada, Show Dogs was released on May 18, 2018 alongside Deadpool 2 and Book Club, and was projected to gross $7–9 million from 3,145 theaters in its opening weekend.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 16% based on 54 reviews, with an average rating of 2.7/10. On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 14 out of 100, based on 14 critics, indicating "overwhelming dislike".