The original 1960s Underdog cartoon was a quasi-psychedelic brain-scrambler about a pill-popping shoeshine boy with floppy ears who battled kinky villains in zoot suits. The update, a flabby, live-action kid-pleaser, bleaches out all of its ancestor’s subversive undercurrents, leaving us with a plot-less, CGI-laden mess of flying beagle footage and lame mad scientist gags. A few of the voice-over performances manage to shine through this dismal Disney-dirge, particularly Brad Garrett’s gleefully sadistic Riff Raff and Amy Adams’ tooth-rottingly sweet Polly Purebred. But in the wake of the (relatively superior) Alvin And The Chipmunks, head ’Dog Jason Lee only manages to snuff out the last, wispy remnants of his hipster street-cred. Very young – or very dull – children might like it, but the cool kids will only scoff.
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