Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Todd Holland|
|Produced by||Michael J. Maschio|
|Written by||Claire-Dee Lim
|Music by||Jeff Cardoni|
|Editing by||Scott J. Wallace|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Running time||111 minutes|
Firehouse Dog is a 2007 American family film produced by Regency Enterprises and distributed by 20th Century Fox. Directed by Todd Holland, it stars Josh Hutcherson, Bruce Greenwood, Dash Mihok, Steven Culp and Bill Nunn. It was released April 4, 2007, in the U.S.
Celebrity dog Rexxx, about to film a secret agent skydiving movie scene, appears depressed and refuses. After some persuasion, he is seen on a plane which is then hit by lightning, knocking him out. He lands in a truck full of tomatoes and eventually found by Shane Fahey (Josh Hutcherson). Once at home at the fire station, Rexxx stays in the basement of a textile building. Shane confronts his dad, the station captain, Connor Fahey (Bruce Greenwood), who is currently dealing with a crisis: his station, engine 55, also known as "Dogpatch", is notoriously late when dispatching and responding to fires, leading to bad publicity.
Dogpatch is in competition against fire station Greenpoint, led by Jessie Presley. Engine 55 arrives at the fire with Shane who spots Rexxx, on the roof of the burning building. Rexxx jumps from the roof onto a trampoline held by the firefighters. Dogpatch takes the dog, who they call Dewey because of his ID tag, while Capt. Fahey orders Shane to make found dog fliers. When they return to the station, Capt. Fahey's friend Zachary Hayden (a former firefighter who now works for the city) informs him the city manager intends to shutdown the firehouse.
With less than a week left until closing, the Dogpatch crew and Shane bond with Dewey, who happens to have a special talent for rescuing people trapped in fires. Shane discovers Dogpatch is closing because all of the houses and buildings of the dying town have either been sold or burnt. Months earlier, his uncle and former Captain of Dogpatch, Marc Fahey, was killed in a saw mill fire, suspected to be arson. While the firefighters begin to pack, Zach returns and informs them Dogpatch does not have to close because Dewey has raised the station's publicity. While looking through the captain's office, Shane takes the sawmill mystery upon himself, examining the evidence and organizing his dad's push pin map of fires into a map on a computer.
After heroically rescuing Jessie Presley of Greenpoint, in a tunnel fire, Dewey makes his first public debut as the Dogpatch mascot. The mayor decides upon keeping Dogpatch open and asks Shane to appear with Dewey at the firefighter's gala. Shane attempts to display Dewey's tricks to the audience, however things don't go as planned and Dewey instead finds his past owner, Trey, leaving Shane disappointed. After following the city manager, Corbin Sellars, he hears him plotting with another firefighter to burn their next target so the land can be used to build a football stadium. After several failed attempts to reach his dad, Shane contacts his friend and Jessie Presley's daughter, J.J., and looks at his dad's city map, which displays all of the zones of buildings in the city that have either been burned or sold. He tells her of the scheme and they realize the recent fire on the garbage barge at the harbor was a decoy to occupy the firemen, and the real target is Dogpatch's fire station, the only building left in Sellars' way.
Shane figures out the firefighter arsonist is Zach, who set all the past fires including the mill fire, and is rigging the station. Shane confronts him, leading to a brawl between the two until they are interrupted by a huge explosion which knocks them down. Dewey senses something going on at the station and dashes over to Dogpatch; he forces Zach into a phone booth before spotting an unconscious Shane, and wakes him up.
Dogpatch arrives first on the scene and breaks through the garage door. As Shane's father rescues him from the building, Shane reveals Zach Hayden set all of the fires, including the one that killed his uncle. Hayden is quickly turned over to the police. Sellars' scam is revealed to the news and he is arrested. The Dogpatch crew members each receive a medal of honor. The station is soon rebuilt and renovated and they receive a dreamed-of 900 hp. Chrysler Hemi engine for their firetruck. Trey goes to reclaim Dewey but changes his mind, saying after Dewey had been a real hero and he'd never be happy returning to simply acting like one.
- Josh Hutcherson as Shane Fahey
- Bruce Greenwood as Captain Connor Fahey
- Claudette Mink as Captain Jessie Presley
- Hannah Lochner as Jasmine "J.J." Presley
- Bill Nunn as Probationary FF Joe Musto
- Scotch Ellis Loring as FF Lionel "Burr" Bradford
- Mayte Garcia as FF Pep Clemente
- Teddy Sears as FF Terrence Kahn
- Steven Culp as City Manager Zachary "Zach" Hayden
- Dash Mihok as Trey Falcon
- Bree Turner as Liz Knowles
- Shane Daly as Burr Baldwin
- Arwen, Frodo, Rohan, Stryder as Rexxx/Dewy the Dog
The film was filmed in 2005 but was released in 2007. The DVD was released July 31, 2007. The Blu-ray was released 2012.
- USA and Canada: April 4, 2007
- Philippines: April 25, 2007 (Manila)
- Spain: June 8, 2007
- Philippines: June 20, 2007 (Davao)
- France: June 27, 2007
- UK: July 20, 2007
- Sweden: August 3, 2007
- Italy: August 10, 2007
- Belgium: August 22, 2007
- Malaysia: August 30, 2007
- Mexico: August 31, 2007
- Japan: September 1, 2007
- Colombia: October 12, 2007
- Russia: October 23, 2007 (DVD premiere)
- Iceland: November 7, 2007 (DVD premiere)
- Panama: November 9, 2007
- Poland: December 7, 2007
- Hungary: December 12, 2007 (DVD premiere)
- Argentina: January 16, 2008 (DVD premiere)
- Venezuela: February 22, 2008
Firehouse Dog received mainly negative to mixed reviews from film critics. It garnered 31% positive reviews on the film-critic aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, and a 43/100 on Metacritic. Justin Chang of Variety called it, "A likable but ungainly mutt of a movie". Ty Burr in The Boston Globe found "the human scenes in Firehouse Dog are perfectly acceptable on the level of a heartwarming family B-movie" but "that dog—or, rather, that digitally enhanced replicant—is just plain creepy". While Carrie Rickey of The Philadelphia Inquirer called it "a touching, family-friendly entertainment about a dog and his boy",
Chris Kaltenbach of The Baltimore Sun felt it was "too busy being inspirational and cuddly to be funny or pointed" and "plays out as though its plot was stuck in molasses". Frank Lovece of Film Journal International capped his review by suggesting that, "Firehouse Dog should be put to sleep before it can do the same to audiences". Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune (April 11, 2007) says: "Once it figures out it is more drama than comedy, "Firehouse Dog" exceeds your limited expectations....While the movie's ad campaign suggests wacky antics all the way, a surprisingly affecting and well-acted father/son relationship develops."
- "Internet Movie Database - List of Films shot in Hamilton, Ontario". Retrieved 2008-01-29.
- Variety (posted April 3, 2007): Review by Justin Change
- The Boston Globe (April 4, 2007): "'Firehouse Dog' needs some real warmth" (review by Ty Burr)
- The Philadelphia Inquirer (April 4, 2007): "From dog star to star of a boy's life" (review by Carrie Rickey)
- The Baltimore Sun (April 4, 2007): "'Dog': smoke, no fire and no new tricks" (review by Chris Kaltenbach)
- "Firehouse Dog": Review by Frank Lovece, Film Journal International, April 4, 2007.