Can you believe that they actually made a Silver Surfer movie? Sure, they had to gift-wrap the dude as part of the already frail Fantastic Four franchise, but still—can you think of a less marketable superhero? I mean, fuck Aquaman—the Silver Surfer is certifiably the lamest superhero to ever tarnish cheap pulp pages. Which just goes to show you how far down the superhero totem pole Hollywood has already carved. I mean, who's next, the Mighty Thor?
It's strange, then, that the American film machine's seemingly limitless capacity to digest and destroy all that which nostalgia holds dear has yet to entirely tear through the upper echelons of our collective animated history. Okay, so they live-actioned (and typically CGI-ed) Garfield, Scooby-Doo, Transformers, Fat Albert, and The Flintstones into oblivion, but just think of all of your favorite cartoons they've yet to gut—suddenly you've got a wealth of blessings to count, don't you? So why on god's green earth would anyone make a movie based on a fumbling, terribly animated rhyming dog with ill-defined superpowers? Can you think of a shittier cartoon? Why Underdog?
If the product is any indication, my guess is the producers simply couldn't afford the rights to the Huckleberry Hound script. Featuring the painfully flat voice work of Jason Lee as our titular hero, the live-action, dogs-with-CGI-mouths-style production begins with a quick refresher course of footage from the original series, as god knows 99.999 percent of their target demographic has no fucking clue who Underdog is. The rest of the hara-kiri-ed cast rounds out with Jim Belushi, Peter Dinklage, and Patrick Warburton—each comfortably phoning it in via tin cans and twine. All told, the whole movie looks like it took about a half-hour to produce (an astonishing quantum physical feat, considering that the film plays for almost an hour and a half). From the villain's (Dinklage) narrowly defined world domination scheme (something having to do with DNA capsules?) to the questionable abundance of scatological humor, one thing's for sure about Underdog: It'll probably make its money back. But that's about all I can say for it.