Firehouse Dog (2007) – movie review

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Movie Review by Vivienne Messenger

Starring: Josh Hutcherson, Bruce Greenwood, Dash Mihok, Steven Culp, Bill Nunn
Director: Todd Holland

From pampered pooch to dishevelled runaway, Rexxx is a highly trained canine celebrity, who falls to Earth with a bump literally during an aerial shoot that ends in disaster. Presumed dead, Rexxx’s vain owner is in a quandary as his source of income has vanished overnight. Rexxx however has a miraculous escape and begins a new life on the streets until rescued by some firefighters from a derelict building that’s ablaze. It’s from this point that the film gets interesting and picks up.

His new owner, a rebellious 12 year-old called Shane (Josh Hutcherson), is given the task of trying to locate Rexxx’s, now renamed Dewey, previous owner by his fire chief father (Bruce Greenwood) who is bringing his son up on his own. Shane is a bit bewildered by Dewey’s quirky behaviour in contrast to Dewey who settles into his new life at Dogpatch, his father’s rundown fire station, with growing alacrity.

As the bond between Dewey and Shane slowly develops, the film has some entertaining sequences when Dewey’s unique personality and intelligence are revealed further. Take Shane’s bedroom, a jungle that you enter at your own risk, which Dewey transforms when he tidies it up! This irritates Shane immensely as he can’t find anything and it’s this tit for tat relationship that while becoming a steadfast friendship also provides a lot of laughs along the way.

In addition an intriguing subplot unfolds centring on a possible arson conspiracy, which is why the firefighters are being kept so busy. The film certainly highlights the life threatening dangers fires pose, as well as the perilous nature of a firefighters’ job, but Dewey’s antics lighten the mood of the film. It is well acted and features talented young actor, Josh Hutcherson (RV, ZATHURA: A SPACE ADVENTURE) as Shane Fahey and Bruce Greenwood (DEJA VU, EIGHT BELOW) as Connor, Shane’s father. Meanwhile Bill Nunn (SPIDER-MAN trilogy) plays the firefighter-cum-resident chef at Dogpatch, whose food everyone loves to hate including Dewey.

This is an entertaining family film interspersed with some very funny incidences and clever stunts, which offsets the frighteningly realistic fire fighting action sequences and.

4 out of 6 stars