Took my niece to the movies last night and got a look at the trailer for the new Underdog live action film. You heard me. Underdog. Live. Action.
There's no need to fear! Underdog is here!
I'm a HUGE Underdog fan. Huge. He's Dudley Do-right with fleas. Hip, but nerdy. His dialogue is so corny and lyrically lame that it's brilliant. But this caped canine doesn't have the widespread instant recognition of Garfield. He's unknown to young audiences so why does he have to be a live action character?
Maybe that's why.
Voiced by Jason Lee, Underdog is really a beagle named Shoeshine Boy who owes his crime fighting superpowers to a lab accident. How original. A lab accident. Just don't make him angry. You wouldn't like him when he's angry.
While Amy Adams can easily pull off Sweet Polly Purebred, the dog she's voicing is woefully miscast. Please. Polly Purebred is a classy dog. Not just any spaniel will do. Did nobody have a breed list for the Westminster Kennel Club?
The opposite may be true with Peter Dinklage as Simon Bar Sinister. Thin his hair, paint him green and he's spot on as the mad scientist but does he have the voice? Let's practice, Peter. Can you say "Simon says that the literal translation of my name is 'Simon, the Evil Bastard' but nobody researched it even though this is a family friendly film?"
Guess fourth graders won't catch that.
Whatever happens with this film, one thing is ironically clear to me. Once again, Underdog has the odds against him.