Amy Adams voices: Polly Purebred
Directed by: Frederik Du Chau
Written by: Adam Rifkin, Joe Piscatella, Craig A. Williams +
Selected Cast: Jason Lee (voice), Peter Dinklage, James Belushi
Release Date: August 3, 2007 (US)
Genre: Action / Adventure / Comedy / Family / Sci-Fi
MPAA Rating: PG
One Nation, Under Dog.
“There’s no need to fear. Underdog is here!” The superhero canine with a gift for rhyme returns in an all new live-action re-imagination of the classic cartoon, Underdog.
After an accident in the mysterious lab of maniacal scientist Dr. Simon Barsinister (Dinklage), an ordinary beagle unexpectedly finds himself with unimaginable powers and the ability to speak. Armed with a fetching superhero costume, Underdog (voiced by Lee) vows to protect the beleaguered citizens of Capitol City and, in particular, one beautiful spaniel named Polly Purebread (voiced by Adams). When a sinister plot by Barsinister and his overgrown henchman Cad (Warburton) threatens to destroy Capitol City only Underdog can save the day.
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Amy Adams voices the classic character Polly Purebred in the live-action re-imagination of the classic cartoon, Underdog. Polly was Underdog’s girlfriend. Polly Purebred is played by a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dog from Boone’s Animals for Hollywood.
• “When they brought the script to me Jason Lee was already attached as the voice of Underdog and I thought of course that was genious.”
• “Shoeshine, you’ve gotta stand up for yourself. Would Underdog have backed down from that mongrul? Underdog… oh the way his ears flop when he flies, that shimmering coat… could you imagine… me off leash with Underdog… there isn’t a hose cold enough to break that up. Oh I wish I could meet him.”
• “Oh where, oh where can my Underdog be?”
• “Oh help. Help, help. HELP, hello!”
• “Oh I love the feeling of the wind in my fur.”
• Features omages/spoofs to Super-Man (1978) and it’s sequels, Lady and the Tramp (1955), and Spider-Man 2 (2004)
• References to the original cartoon series include:
Secret identity as “humble and lovable Shoeshine Boy”
Love interest “Sweet Polly Purebread”
Speaking in rhyme
Causing significant property damage during rescues
Pill as source of super powers
Changing into costume in exploding phone booth
Explaining to crowd that he is “not plane, nor bird, nor even frog, just little old me: Underdog”.
“Not unlike its accident-prone superhero, “Underdog” is clumsy, fast-moving and thoroughly inoffensive. Tale of a genetically modified mutt who becomes a canine crime-fighter falls somewhere between stale retread and half-hearted parody of superhero-movie formulas, bearing more of a resemblance to live-action talking-dog fare like Wishbone or Look Who’s Talking Now than the amusing ’60s toon series on which it’s based. Pic fetched $12 million in its opening frame and may show some traction with the family crowd, but will ultimately best serve parents as an easy DVD distraction for noisy tots in the backseat.” – Justin Chang, Chicago Sun Times
“Yet another misbegotten live-action remake of a beloved Saturday morning cartoon, Underdog is a negligible family film that’s so blandly formulaic, it makes the original, ’60s-era cartoon look downright edgy in comparison.
Co-starring the voices of Amy Adams (as Polly Purebred, Underdog’s lady love) and Brad Garrett (as Riff-Raff, a Rottweiler bully), Underdog offers up the usual, dull hodgepodge of trite life lessons and slapstick humor that’s standard issue for family films. The small fry will probably enjoy the CGI-enhanced beagle’s comic misadventures, but the grown-ups in the audience, especially those who grew up watching the original cartoon, will want to shove this stinker into a cinematic pooper-scooper.” – Tim Knight, Reel
“There are some funny scenes as Shoeshine discovers his strength at home. Chaos ensues and I laughed when Jack (Alex Neuberger) realises the dog can talk. Boy and dog look at each other and both howl. Their relationship is nicely handled and while pouring over comic books, Jack persuades Shoeshine he needs an alter ego and suitable costume in order to become the superhero the city needs. He barks three times, dons Dan’s specially shrunk college sweater – and the result is Underdog. The script is filled with good lines and Shoeshine’s crush on pretty little spaniel Polly (voiced by Amy Adams) offers additional opportunities for humour. Adults will enjoy this delightful and funny family film every bit as much as the kids.” – Louise Keller, Urban Cinefile
“No matter how lame some of the gags are, and no matter how badly the script bungles some of the action (watch the way Molly (Taylor Momsen) stumbles right into the villain’s hands near the end, just to provide a damsel in distress for Underdog to save), films like this retain a certain undeniable appeal, and not just for animal lovers and kids. My theory is that the heroic archetype continues to exert a pull over modern viewers, but in these cynical times it is hard to believe in cinematic heroes who are purely good; they seem too one-dimensional, too cornball. But when your hero is a dog, it is acceptable – even expected – for his characterization to be lacking in nuance and shades of gray. After all, it’s a dog – what do you expect, Hamlet?” – Steve Biodrowski, Cinefantastique Online
“The movie is not a complete success, not by a longshot, but it is also not terrible. It is a middle of the round youngster pleaser. The effects are pretty good, the story could use some fleshing out, amd the performances are fun for the most part. It is a good choice for family entertainment, so long as you keep expectations low.” – Draven99