Marmaduke is a film about talking animals. More specifically about talking dogs, and a cat. So basically it’s the kind of film that kids love and parents endure. Based on the comic strip of the same name, Marmaduke follows the predictable story of a family that moves from the sedate lifestyle of middle America to Orange County in California in order for father/husband Phil to pursue his dream job, and provide all the better for his family.
But really, Phil and co. are just the subtext for the real action to take place, and that is of the unruly Marmaduke, a Great Dane, to cause havoc and create laughs for the audience in every scene.
Predictably to move is bad for the family as a whole as dad Phil has to work so much harder and doesn’t see the real needs of his family – this is mirrored in Marmaduke’s antics with the local dog community.
Of course, it takes a serious event to make both alpha males to realise what’s important in life and everything works out in the end.
Predictable, yes. Cheesy, yes. But Marmaduke has a huge heart and plenty of laughs – you’ll even find yourself unwillingly laughing at the recurring fart joke. This is however a family film, and having kids giggling beside you (and wanting to cuddle close when things get scary) obviously helps make this movie as much fun as it is.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read
Starring: Owen Wilson, George Lopez, Stacy Ferguson, William H. Macy, Steve Coogan, Jeremy Piven, Ron Perlman, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Judy Greer, Emma Stone, Lee Pace
Directed by: Tom Dey
Genre: Family, Comedy
NZ Distributor: Fox