See Spot Run [2001]

A family film for an era when "family film" means scatological jokes, gratuitous violence, and shapeless storytelling, See Spot Run is about par for the course. Punctuated by many a lowbrow moment (scenes of combustible zebra flatulence, for instance), Spot has trouble staying true to its major story line despite the latter's redeeming qualities. That story concerns an FBI-trained bull mastiff who flees the wrath of a mobster (Paul Sorvino) and ends up in the care of a pooch-averse postman (David Arquette) and the latter's little neighbor (Angus T. Jones). With a nutball like Arquette in the lead (and vigorous support work from comic Anthony Anderson of Me, Myself, and Irene), the antics come fast and furious, including a wild bit of slapstick in which Arquette simultaneously gets his head stuck in a fishbowl and his body densely wrapped in helium-inflated plastic. On the other hand, there's a touching simplicity to the relationship between man and canine, each of whom has been terribly lonely in his own way. Sure, the filmmakers went for some cheap laughs, but there is much else here that is harder-earned. --Tom Keogh

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