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SEE SPOT RUN

SYNOPSIS:
Agent 11 of the FBI is one of the bravest and smartest on the force; he’s the long time loyal partner of Agent Murdoch (Michael Clarke Duncan); and he’s the target of a hit order from crime boss Sonny Talia (Paul Sorvino). He’s also a bull mastiff. Gordon (David Arquette) is not one of the bravest or smartest on the force; but he knows what he likes: his nubile neighbour and dedicated single mother Stephanie (Leslie Bibbs); and he knows what he hates: dogs. He’s a postman. When fate conspires to have Gordon take care of Stephanie’s young son Benny (Anthony Anderson) and also Agent 11, who has gone underground, Gordon must overcome his canine phobia, learn responsibility, and outwit the mafia. Does Grodon have what it takes to win both the day and Stephanie’s affections? Of course not. But he does have Agent 11 AKA Spot to lend a helping paw.

"In the production notes for See Spot Run, producer Bob Simonds says that David Arquette is "somebody who could essentially be the Buster Keaton of our generation, given the right movie". Would somebody please give Arquette that movie because this ghastly creation is not it. With a dirty blonde rinse through his shaggy-dog haircut and pasty make-up that resembles a mask of his own face, Arquette invokes not Buster Keaton but the haunting words of W.C. Fields who warned against working with children and animals. It's hard to imagine school holiday audiences roaring with laughter as goofy mailman Arquette gets himself into one clumsy mess after another, all in the name of slapstick entertainment. Youngsters who've been double-dosed with Prozac or Ritalin are the only ones who might find some amusement in such silly shenanigans that include an embarrassing Michael Clarke Duncan pining for his missing pooch partner and Paul Sorvino as a mob boss who, in the opening scene, has his testicular capacity halved by the fearless canine. The only bright note is the presence of Joe Vitarelli as one of two incompetent hitmen dispatched by Sorvino to eliminate the woofer but it's hardly enough to warrant the purchase of a ticket. If the kids insist, my advice is to reverse the normal procedure and lock yourself in the car until it's over."
Richard Kuipers

"This is the tail . . . or rather tale of a dog with a face reminiscent of the late great Walter Matthau being chased by a gangster (perennial mafia-stereotype Joe Viterelli) with a face like Walter Matthau savouring the aroma of a zebra fart – although it’s the rather less creased countenance of Bibb’s Stephanie that is actually afforded that delightful experience here. It is also the story of a loser postie about to get covered in doggie doo and glory; his dream girl, Stephanie, who when she’s not sniffing a black and white striped backside is getting covered in mud; her cute kid who suffers from too much love and a bull mastiff that’s smarter than all of them. The actors all play good hands from very rough deals. Arquette must not only survive the poop encounter, but paralysation of the buttocks, a run in with a fire hydrant and his own general stupidity, and still come out with his dignity in tact. Bibb must survive her mudbath and still look bodacious. Duncan simply has to look big and bewildered which seems to come naturally. Anderson does it easy as Cutestuff and the bull mastiff is an impressive creature who deserves much better than this dog’s dribble. However, don’t let it be said that I have overlooked the parallel symbolism of the dual plots. Stephanie looks like a mannequin, moves like a marionette but rules her son with the discipline of a martinet. She loves him to death but drowns him in severity. Same story with the FBI kingpin and his prodigious pooch. It takes the canine capers for them to find a balanced loving kindness. Ah such subtlety. Sadly it will go over the heads of the only target audience with the potential to be amused by this Spot of nonsense. Nothing here for anyone taller than a bull mastiff, I’m afraid."
Brad Green

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 2
Mixed: 0

SEE SPOT RUN (PG)
(US)

CAST: David Arquette, Michael Clarke Duncan, Paul Sorvino

DIRECTOR: John Whitesell

PRODUCER: Robert Simonds

SCRIPT: Stuart Gibbs, Craig Titley, George Gallo (story) & George Gallo, Dan Baron (screenplay)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: John S. Bartley

EDITOR: Cara Silverman

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Mark S. Freeborn

MUSIC: John Debney

RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 5, 2001

VIDEO RELEASE: September 5, 2001

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Home Entertainment







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