This broad comedy is more entertaining than is conveyed in its poorly-executed ad campaign, which emphasizes silly shenanigans and Arquette's trademark obnoxious antics, doing nothing to dispel the skepticism and disdain a cop dog/buddy movie naturally evokes. In fact, this crowd-pleaser is filled with laughs, such as when the postman bonds with his ex's son as each one of the mom's strict rules are broken, resulting in a child under the influence of an extreme sugar high, among other things; the reaction of Agent 11's partner (Michael Clarke Duncan) as he tries to cope with separation anxiety and abandonment issues upon being apart from his partner for the first time; and Arquette's postal route down canine alley, for which he utilizes special tools to deliver the mail while avoiding being torn to shreds by the neighborhood dogs. There is some bumbling, but the film manages to limit the use of obvious clichés that accompany most animal-protagonisted films. Starring David Arquette, Angus T. Jones, Michael Clarke Duncan and Paul Sorvino. Directed by John Whitesell. Written by George Gallo, Alec Berg, Jeff Schaeffer and Dave Mandel. Produced by Robert Simonds. A Warner Bros. release. Comedy. Rated PG for crude humor, language and comic violence. Running time: 97 min
See Spot Run
Because of Agent 11's nose for trouble, the canine operative is a valuable resource to the FBI, his most recent success being the foiling of a mobster's smuggling attempt. To retaliate, said mobster (Paul Sorvino) puts out a contract to have the dog whacked. Once the bureau is alerted to the situation, Agent 11 is put in the witness protection program. Through a few mishaps, Agent 11--renamed Spot--ends up with a postman (David Arquette) who is babysitting his ex-girlfriend's son (Angus T. Jones). Things are fine until all concerned parties find out where the dog is living: The kid's mom won't let Spot stay, the hitmen want the dog dead and the FBI want Agent 11 back safely.