Show Dogs

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Show Dogs
Show Dogs.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Raja Gosnell
Produced by
  • Deepak Nayar
  • Philip von Alvensleben
Written by
Starring
Music by Heitor Pereira
Cinematography David Mackie
Edited by
  • David Freeman
  • Sabrina Plisco
Production
company
Distributed by Global Road Entertainment
Release date
  • May 18, 2018 (2018-05-18) (United States)
Country United States
Language English
Budget $5.5 million[1]
Box office $39.1 million[2]

Show Dogs is a 2018 American buddy cop family comedy 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 film follows a Rottweiler police dog and his human partner who go undercover at a prestigious dog show to stop an animal smuggling activity. The film was released in the United States on May 18, 2018 and has grossed over $39 million worldwide.[3]

Show Dogs received largely negative reviews. A week after its release, the film came under fire when several critics and parents' groups accused it of including a scene normalizing child grooming. As a result, the studio apologized and recut the film, re-releasing it on its second weekend in theaters.

Plot[edit]

In a world where humans and anthropomorphic animals, e.g. talking dogs co-exist, a macho but lonely Rottweiler police dog named Max 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. When Max finds out the bad guys are planning to sell Ling-Li, a baby giant panda, at the upcoming Canini Invitational dog show in Las Vegas, he's forced to go undercover as an entrant accompanied by Frank posing as his trainer.

Cast[edit]

Voices[edit]

Production[edit]

Show Dogs began filming on November 28, 2016 at Pinewood Studio Wales in Great Britain, and also took place in Las Vegas.[4]

Release[edit]

Show Dogs was released in theatres on May 18, 2018.

Home media[edit]

Show Dogs was released on DVD and Blu-ray on August 21, 2018.

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Show Dogs has grossed $17.7 million in the United States and Canada, and $20.9 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $38.8 million.[2]

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.[5] It ended up debuting to $6 million, finishing sixth at the box office.[6] It dropped 49% in its second weekend to $3.1 million, finishing seventh.[7]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 17% based on 60 reviews with an average rating of 3.2/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Show Dogs may entertain very young viewers, but for anyone else, it threatens the cinematic equivalent of a rolled-up newspaper on the snout."[8] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 31 out of 100, based on reviews from 14 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[9] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale.[6]

Christy Lemire of RogerEbert.com gave the film 0.5/4 stars and said that from "the barely-there characters to the cheesy visual effects to the flat attempts at knowingly corny laughs, this reeks of the kind of material you'd have the misfortune of discovering in the bargain bin under the merciless fluorescent lights of your local soulless superstore. It is bleak indeed. Your family deserves better."[10] Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle gave the film 0/4 stars and strongly criticized, among other things, the dated production, the "terrible" jokes, and the virtually nonexistent sense of pacing, ultimately concluding that "Show Dogs is really bad, even for a talking-dog movie" and that "we all deserve a better live-action talking-dog movie than this."[11]

In contrast, Michael Rechtshaffen of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a generally positive review, writing: "...thanks to some creative character casting and a self-aware script that isn't averse to poking fun at itself, Show Dogs emerges as a high-concept family comedy that manages to avoid being taken for the runt of the litter, even if it doesn't really bring anything fresh and different to the arena."[12]

Accolades[edit]

List of awards and nominations
Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
2018 People's Choice Awards Favorite Family Movie Show Dogs Pending [13]

Child grooming controversy and resulting re-cut[edit]

"The movie's solution to Max's discomfort with the inspection is not to empower him to escape it somehow; it's to have him learn to check out mentally while he endures it, and to make no outward sign of his humiliation. It is not paranoid to say that this is a bad message for kids."

 —Ruth Graham[14]

The film was criticized for normalizing child grooming based on a plot point which depicts the canine main character being forced to have his genitals fondled by a dog show judge without consent. In the film, other characters "teach" him not to think about it and to go to his "zen place" when that happens. Initially, in a test screening for the film, online magazine Macaroni Kid's Terina Maldonado said "With the #MeToo movement and all the talk of sexual predators in Hollywood, I couldn't help but think this message, that is blatantly in the open for adults to see, but over a child's understanding, is meant to groom children to be open to having people touch their privates, even though they don't want it."[15] Spurred on by this review, other professional reviewers agreed that the child grooming implications were "disturbing and serious". Bob Hoose of Focus on the Family's enertainment guide "Plugged in" described the content in his review but did not ascribe motive, although he did not disagree with Maldonado's interpretation.[16][17] Slate's Ruth Graham said that the genital fondling subplot was "darker" than the light-hearted humor in the rest of the film.[14] In response, Global Road Entertainment, the film's distributor, announced they were re-cutting the film and resubmitting it to theaters in time for its second weekend. Speaking to Deadline Hollywood, the company said:

"Responding to concerns raised by moviegoers and some specific organizations, Global Road Entertainment has decided to remove two scenes from the film Show Dogs that some have deemed not appropriate for children. The company takes these matters very seriously and remains committed to providing quality entertainment for the intended audiences based on the film’s rating. We apologize to anybody who feels the original version of Show Dogs sent an inappropriate message. The revised version of the film will be available for viewing nationwide starting this weekend."[18]

The film's co-writer Max Botkin said he did not write those scenes, and that the original script was "heavily rewritten by 13 other writers". He went on to strongly condemn the themes in question.[17]

Nonprofit organization National Center on Sexual Exploitation still took offense at the newly-edited release of the film, however, saying that it retains many of the controversial genital-touching scenes, and strongly advising parents and caregivers to avoid taking children to the film.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Big budget US comedy 'Show Dogs' spent £4.7m filming in Wales – Hollywood producer is keen to return". Business Wales. Welsh Government. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Show Dogs". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  3. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 9, 2017). "Open Road Changes Release Dates for 'Midnight Sun', 'Show Dogs' & 'Playmobil'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  4. ^ McNary, Dave (December 7, 2016). "Will Arnett, Natasha Lyonne to Star in Family Comedy 'Show Dogs'". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  5. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 15, 2018). "'Deadpool 2' To Kick Up Potential $350M Opening Around The Globe – Box Office Preview". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  6. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 20, 2018). "'Deadpool 2' Swinging In As Second-Best Opening For R-Rated Pic With $125M". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  7. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 26, 2018). "Why Is 'Solo' Flying So Low At The B.O.? Memorial Day Opening Now At $114M+". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved May 27, 2018.
  8. ^ "Show Dogs (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  9. ^ "Show Dogs Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  10. ^ Lemire, Christy (May 18, 2018). "Show Dogs Movie Review". RogerEbert.com. Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  11. ^ Hartlaub, Peter (May 17, 2018). "'Show Dogs' falls miles short of the winner's circle". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  12. ^ Rechtshaffen, Michael (May 20, 2018). "'Show Dogs': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  13. ^ "44th People's Choice Awards Nominees".
  14. ^ a b Graham, Ruth (May 22, 2018). "The Parenting Internet Is up in Arms About a Movie Critics Say "Grooms" Children for Sexual Abuse". Slate. The Slate Group. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  15. ^ Maldonado, Terina (May 20, 2018). "Show Dogs, Don't Let Your Children Be Groomed, Use This to Teach Them". Macaroni Kid. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  16. ^ Hoose, Bob (May 21, 2018). "About Show Dogs..." Plugged In. Focus on the Family. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
  17. ^ a b Gonzales, Sandra (May 22, 2018). "'Show Dogs' sparks criticism over perceived message about sexual abuse". CNN. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  18. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 23, 2018). "'Show Dogs' Getting Re-Cut By Global Road In Response To Concerns Over Inappropriate Sex Abuse Message". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  19. ^ Hawkins, Dan (May 29, 2018). "STATEMENT: Movie Show Dogs Still Grooms Children for Sex Abuse Recut of Film Fails to Remove Scenes of Genital Touching". National Center on Sexual Exploitation. Retrieved June 1, 2018.

External links[edit]