Review: Rating from 1-10; 1 being the worst and 10 being the best
PG | 2018 | 92 minutes
Talking-animal buddy comedy dogged
WHAT PARENTS NEED TO KNOW
Parents need to know that Show Dogs is a talking-animal comedy starring Will Arnettas an FBI agent who teams up with Max, a New York City police dog (voiced by Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges), to find smugglers who stole a baby panda. The partners must enter a prestigious dog show in Las Vegas to track down the culprits. There’s some vaguely suggestive humor about Max’s alpha-male status, scatological (i.e. fart) jokes, and iffy/crude language like “grow some balls.” One controversial plot point centers on Max’s genitals being examined as preparation for the final part of the dog show (where it will be part of the required examination); he clearly doesn’t like the experience and is coached on how to get through it (“go to your happy place”), which some viewers see as being uncomfortably close to the experience of sexual abuse. Due to the outcry over these scenes, the studio released a slightly edited version, but there are still images of Max being touched by his human partner and, briefly, a show judge; the “happy place” line also remains. (According to the distributor, all of these scenes will be removed for the movie’s home-viewing release.) Action/tense moments include car chases and other pursuits, an innocent dog being captured, and a villain and a police officer facing off with guns and having a fistfight.
Scenes in which a dog’s private parts are handled to prepare him for dog show judging (while he’s told to “focus on not reacting” and to go to his “happy place”) can be seen as sending problematic messages about consent and potential grooming for sexual abuse;
GETTING REAL WITH YOUR KIDS …
Parents can talk about the controversy surrounding Show Dogs. Did you notice the scenes in which Max’s private parts were touched by his human partner (and the dog show judge) and he was advised to zone out to get over it? Do you understand that if someone Ever touches you like that not only should you yell your head off, and come and tell mom, dad, teacher or someone You trust!
Even if someone you Trust is doing it.