Movies that resort to grandiose choreography, as a rule, suck the big one. But a movie that stages a dance party with choppily animated dogs? Call the pound. Based off its trailer, the prognosis was already clear for Marmaduke: Someone needed to put the irritating Great Dane down stat. They didn’t, unfortunately, and the critics all responded with animal cruelty.
It’s not like ’Duke ever had a chance. The film’s producers must’ve thought it was 2005 when they cast Owen Wilson to voice the big dog; trying his usual “aloofly charming slacker” routine in canine form, the once-funnyman can’t even save face while speaking through a Great Dane’s mug. Speaking of which, the cheap-o talking mouth effects splattered on Marmaduke’s grill are more nightmarish than cute—the damn thing looks like it has marbles in its gums when it speaks.
When Scooby Doo was asked to give his take on Marmaduke, pop culture’s Great Dane of choice said, “And I thought I caught a bad break working with Matthew Lillard.”