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See Spot Run (2001), (PG)
CAP Score: 63
CAP Influence Density: 0.66
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NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is purely objective and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie
SUMMARY / COMMENTARY:
SEE SPOT RUN (PG) -- definitely NOT a "first grade reader" movie.
It has happened. A PG earned a PG-13 CAP score. This may have happened before, but there are so few PG movies I do not remember if it has. Examination of our records will tell. With a score of 63, See Spot Run falls inside the CAP scoring range for PG-13 movies (55 to 67), close to the top but inarguably inside -- definitely not a "first grade reader" movie unless you like your 6 year olds watching descriptive vulgarity such as a dog bite off a human testicle ... twice ... with someone fetching the second one from the dog's mouth. Though the actual mechanics and visuals of such behavior were guarded and not clearly seen, the theater audience full of youngsters obviously knew exactly what had happened in both cases. That is the level of intellect of See Spot Run -- about 10 inches above the bathroom floor. And it doesn't get any better than that.
Spot is an expertly trained FBI dog which seems to have a higher IQ than the entire cast. In a drug bust, Spot thwarts the attempts of drug boss Sonny Talia (Paul Sorvino) to escape. Talia pops off a few rounds from his .45 at Spot, so Spot bites off one of Talia's testicles to subdue the fugitive. Sonny, so embittered by the vile deed of the dog, puts out a hit contract on it and the FBI places Spot in a doggie witness protection program and shipped off to Alaska.
Talia's lost part is surgically replaced with a steel ball. And much dialogue is spent describing how such surgery could be done with two steel balls but is not advised because of the annoyance of the sound of them clicking together. The choreography for that monologue is a physician yanking two steel balls hanging by strings and clicking together. There is a point to giving us this sound as you will see later. And every opportunity is taken to throw in as much additional toilet humor as possible. And sure enough, one of the scenes later shows Talia hobbling down the prison corridor with the sound of steel balls clicking together with each step -- until he stops. Then the audience hears the sound of steel balls chattering together to a stop. Of course, Talia's voice is now falsetto. I at least appreciate the writers not bringing any magnets into the movie.
Somehow Spot is separated from the protection of the FBI. The pooch that ends up in Alaska is a teeny Mexican Hairless Chihuahua. Spot's handler, Agent Murdoch (Michael Clarke Duncan - the gentle giant from The Green Mile is reduced to tears. Spot ends up with James (Angus T. Jones), a five or six year old boy with mom, Stephanie (Leslie Bibb) and no dad. A neighbor of Stephanie is Gordon Smith (David Arquette), a postman with an angle for every dog on his route. Being friends with Stephanie and wanting to be more, Gordon offers to sit for little James while mom is gone on a trip for about 36 hours. What a combination: a orderly young boy staying with a bachelor who lives the stereotype bachelor style.
Gordon will not let Spot live in his apartment. James wants Spot in. Spot wants in. Gordon says no. Guess who wins? Since Spot seems to have the most intelligence of the cast, Spot uses a dog walk in the middle of the night to get Gordon out and itself in. As an attempt to get back in his apartment, Gordon shinnies up a drainpipe. But Gordon does not get back in. As do all movie drainpipes used as a climbing device, this one detaches and deposits Gordon in a pile of fresh doggie dump deposited moments earlier by Spot. And, of course, on the way down Gordon's boxer shorts get ripped off. Gordon does not simply step in the "ca-ca", he ends up wallowing in it -- more than once. And in keeping with movie lawn scenes the sprinklers spout off. While this may be well and good as a chance for Gordon to clean-up a little, the choreographers make a 'wet T-shirt' display of it, making it very clear (more times than once) that Gordon 1] is male and 2] is wearing ONLY a T-shirt at that point. Regarding the flamefront set up by Gordon igniting the flatulence of a Zebra, I won't go there.
There is a lot more toilet in this movie of toilet humor [Eph. 5:4] and there is a lot of good slapstick comedy and even a couple good one-liner jokes plus some touching scenes. It could have been a fun film. I wonder if the next five years will reveal the same stealing-childhood-from-children fate for PG movies as the previous five years have revealed for PG-13 (see
If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ].
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
FINDINGS / SCORING:
NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely, definitely when plural.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
Offense to God (O)(2):