Two childhood friends, a New York hairstylist and a would-be musician, get caught up with the mob and are forced to deliver $50,000 to Australia, but things go haywire when the money is lost to a wild kangaroo.
When Miami dentist Ted Brooks learns that his birth mother has passed away and that he was named in her will, he travels to Alaska to claim his inheritance. Rather than the large chunk of change that many people would expect, Ted instead receives his mother's pack of rowdy sled dogs and her property. Although the dogs seemingly have it in for Ted, he decides to keep the dogs and race them in the local race, the Arctic Challenge, spiting a mountain man who wants the dogs. What follows is a comedy detailing Ted's adventures in learning to run the sled dogs.Written by
When he is served with a notice to attend the will reading of his mother, dentist Ted Brooks is surprised as his mother is standing beside him at the time. It is that moment that he learns he is adopted and that his real mother lived in Alaska. Travelling up to her remote village with the lawyer-cum-pilot George Murphy, Ted finds he has inherited her possessions including her cabin and all the contents. Planning to just sell the lot, Ted is shocked to find a pack of huskies in the cabin. Waitress Barb hopes he will stay for a while but he plans to still sell the lot and only stops when she tells him who his father is; none other than the imposing and white "Thunder Jack" Johnson.
Even before I watched this film I had the urge to throw out bad puns on the word "dog" this urge wasn't helped by my recent viewing of Cuba's Boat Trip. However I tried not to prejudge this, but I must admit a certain mix of smug satisfaction and wasted time in finding out that my fears were correct. With the thinnest of plots, this film mainly gets by on "city boy in the snow" gags that sees Ted being chased by anything in Alaska that could chase you bears, dogs, women, you name it. This never really made me laugh at any point which left me with an uncomfortable amount of time to look at the characters and the plot. This knackered the film totally because these are areas that should have been covered up not exposed. The plot itself is weak in regards the motivations and characters and by the time a small group of dogs drag the dead weight of two men and a sledge up a sheer drop, I had stopped being disappointed by it.
The characters needed to be strong to carry the family issues in the story but they are as thin as paper and just as bland. I didn't care for any of them and was less than interested in their problems and interactions. I know it was a Disney film but I'm sure even children will come out of it saying "was I meant to be emotionally involved with this adopted son and his distant father?" well, maybe not but you know what I'm trying to say. Gooding Jnr. Need I say any more or do you know where I'm going with this? God love him he tries hard and he puts in more welly than the material deserves. Doesn't mean he is any good but gosh does he want to please everyone. Coburn should have known better and I hope he got well paid for this nonsense. Nichols is a strange find but at least Sisqo is limited to more or less a cameo. Walsh and Doyle-Murray are wasted but Bacalso has the hardest job. With no time and no realism she has to fall for Cuba and in the end she just suddenly does it she is a beautiful woman but he has so much against her that she cannot be more than just a cute support woman.
Overall this is a poor film that maybe has enough motion and people falling down to distract children but god help any adult that tries to get involved in either the comedy or the characters. Both are basic and badly done I laughed once (at a man being hit by ice, god help me) and could have cared less about the simple relationship problems of the cardboard cutouts on my screen. Cuba Gooding Jnr yet again proves that Oscar was an one off with a film that I wouldn't even recommend to children in case it stunts their emotional growth.
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