Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Raja Gosnell|
|Music by||Heitor Pereira|
|Distributed by||Global Road Entertainment|
|Box office||$39.1 million|
Show Dogs is a 2018 American buddy cop 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.
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. Despite all this the film was a moderate financial success, grossing $39 million against its $5 million budget.
This article needs an improved plot summary. (May 2018)
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 criminals 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.
- Will Arnett as Frank, Max’s human partner.
- Natasha Lyonne as Mattie
- Omar Chaparro as Señor Gabriel
- Oliver Tompsett as Chauncey
- Andy Beckwith as Berne
- Kerry Shale as Thin Man
- Bradley Gosnell as Stage Manager
- Chris "Ludacris" Bridges as Max, a Rottweiler that works as a police dog.
- Jordin Sparks as Daisy, an Australian Shepherd and Max's love interest.
- RuPaul as Persephone, a Mexican Hairless Dog
- Gabriel Iglesias as Sprinkles, a Pug.
- Shaquille O'Neal as Karma, a Komondor.
- Stanley Tucci as Philippe, a French Papillon.
- Alan Cumming as Dante, a haughty Yorkshire Terrier.
- Anders Holm, Blake Anderson, and Kate Micucci as a trio of pigeons that are deputized by Max.
- Kerry Shale as Thin Man, Sarge, Luther, Deepak the Tiger, Chicago Rottweiler, Backstage Dogs
- Bradley Gosnell as Caesars Announcer, Tennessee Rottweiler, Male Labrador, King Poodle, Agility Dogs, Backstage Dogs
- Delaney Milbourn as Sparky, Ling Li, Mama Rottweiler, Afghan, Female Labrador, Cannonball Terrier, Cowabunga Dog, Backstage Dogs
- Stephen Hogan as Mastif, Canini Announcer
- Andrew Ortenberg as Agility Dogs, Backstage Dogs
Show Dogs was released in theatres on May 18, 2018.
Show Dogs was released on DVD and Blu-ray on August 21, 2018.
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.
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. It ended up debuting to $6 million, finishing sixth at the box office. It dropped 49% in its second weekend to $3.1 million, finishing seventh.
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." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 31 out of 100, based on reviews from 14 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale.
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." 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."
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."
|List of awards and nominations|
|2018||People's Choice Awards||Favorite Family Movie||Show Dogs||Pending|||
Child grooming controversy and resulting re-cut
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." 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. Slate's Ruth Graham said that the genital fondling subplot was "darker" than the light-hearted humor in the rest of the film. 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."
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.
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.
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