MAY 17, 2018 -- Sometimes, when I walk into a film screening I aim low. In other words there are no great expectations if the film can make it through the opening credits without blowing up, sometimes that's all I can ask for. That way, if it has one inkling of production values I don't walk out disappointed.


Director Raja Gosnell's latest kiddie flick does just that, it doesn't promise any Oscar award winning doesn't promise anything more than to entertain the kiddies for 90-minutes... the film doesn't explode during the opening credits. What more can a parent ask for? Especially with most of the films released right now geared for kids over nine years old. Fear not, the promise of "The Incredibles 2" is on the horizon.

The film revolves around Max (voiced by Ludacris), a police department Rottweiler who sniffs up on a kidnapped Panda who's fate is to be sold on the black market for $10 million. The main reason why the theft occurred is because Max, the police department and FBI agent Frank (Will Arnett) are butting heads. Of course, it is decided that it would be best of Max and agent Frank work together like "Turner & Hooch".


Their biggest lead is that the sale is probably going to take place at an exclusive dog show in Las Vegas that features only champion dogs vying for the title of world's greatest dog. It is decided Max should be entered as a cover so that Frank can snoop around for clues. Yes, suddenly this sounds a bit like Sandra Bullock's "Miss Congeniality" only without the threat of bombs and sans better talent.


Voices of various pooches are lent by the likes of Stanley Tucci who plays Phillipe a former world champion who went nuts and was banned from competition; he will act as Max's show mentor. Shaquille O'Neal voices Karma, a pooch who is into the zen of the show. Then there is Persephone (Rupaul) who is being handled by Franks mentor Mattie (Natasha Lyonne) who doesn't think much of the idea.


The story is as predictable as you can guess with the most humorous parts being Max winning Best of Breed and Best of Class so that he can compete for the big prize. Other than that you get a bunch of rerun critter gags and jokes that will make most adults cringe. Think "Cats and Dogs" (2000).


The animal animation is adequate, some of the dogs are truly funny looking and you get 90-minutes of your young child getting a few giggles. That's what the movie promises and that's what it delivers.


"Showdogs" is as lame as a talking animal movie can be, if this was a film for adults; but it is not. For kids, the goofy looking dogs and dog expressions will be more than enough to keep them entertained for ninety minutes.   -- GRADE C- --   GEOFF BURTON