Show Dogs (PG)



Comedy (2018)
92mins US/UK

Starring: Will Arnett, Stanley Tucci, Alan Cumming, Natasha Lyonne, Chris Ludacris Bridges
Director: Raja Gosnell
Writer(s): Marc Hyman, Max Botkin
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Rottweiler Max is one of the finest police dogs on the force and he leads a sting on a gang of animal smugglers, who have taken possession of a baby panda named Ling Li. Just as Max is poised to make an arrest, the FBI led by federal agent Frank gatecrashes the operation and the criminal mastermind escapes. The trail of evidence leads to a high-profile dog show in Las Vegas. Frank and Max agree to go undercover as contestants to unmask the animal traffickers.

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LondonNet Film Review
Show Dogs (PG)

Raja Gosnell, director of Beverly Hill Chihuahua, collars a buddy cop movie, which is essentially Miss Congeniality on four legs, with dysfunctional canines replacing the beauty queens. Show Dogs is a shaggy dog tale of questionable pedigree that will probably delight very young audiences, who might gurgle with glee at the sight of a Rottweiler sneakily breaking wind while an unsuspecting owner is soaping its rear. Anyone with an age in double digits will be less enthralled, and grateful that this preposterous undercover sting at one of the world's most prestigious animal shows only wags its tail for 92 minutes...

Show Dogs. Copyright: Entertainment One. Caption: Daisy (voiced by Jordin Sparks) and Max (Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges) in Show Dogs, directed by Raja Gosnell. Photo: Adrian Rogers. All Rights Reserved.The script is poor and repeatedly short-changes a starry ensemble cast. Comic whirlwind RuPaul barely achieves a light breeze by recycling catchphrases from hit reality series Drag Race while Stanley Tucci is reduced to delivering limp lines in a cod-French accent as a pampered Papillon. The human cast don't fare much better, gamely keeping straight faces as canine co-stars run amok before the application of technical wizardry to enhance their facial expressions. Outtakes during the end credits give some sense of the behind-the-scenes madness but fail to elicit more than a chuckle.

Max (voiced by Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges) is one of the finest police dogs on the force and he leads a sting on a gang of animal smugglers, who have taken possession of a baby panda named Ling Li. Just as Max is poised to make an arrest, the FBI led by federal agent Frank (Will Arnett) gatecrashes the operation and the criminal mastermind escapes. The trail of evidence leads to a high-profile dog show in Las Vegas, which the FBI believes is a front for a lucrative trade in creature trafficking. Frank and Max agree to go undercover as contestants to unmask the criminals and return the animals to the wild or their rightful owners. Veteran handler Mattie (Natasha Lyonne) mentors Frank while Max gets a crash course in posing with confidence from a sneering Papillon called Philippe (Tucci), an Australian Shepherd called Daisy (Jordin Sparks), a Pug called Sprinkles (Gabriel Iglesias), a Hungarian sheepdog called Karma (Shaquille O'Neal) and resident fashionista Persephone (RuPaul). "You're a street dog with a temper. What do you know about dog shows?" one rival growls at Max. Thankfully, the Rottweiler has a few tricks between his paws to impress the judges.

Show Dogs cocks its leg at plausibility in an opening set piece and never looks back, unleashing a tiger for a climactic showdown between the cops and the smugglers. Gosnell directs each flimsily constructed sequence with urgency, showcasing the glittering lights of Las Vegas which provide a lurid backdrop to the cross-species calamity. The script is all bark and no bite, slobbering over fleeting moments of touching emotion. Alas, this will never win best in show.

- Kim Hu

Show Dogs. Copyright: Entertainment One. Caption: Daisy (voiced by Jordin Sparks) and Max (Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges) in Show Dogs, directed by Raja Gosnell. Photo: Adrian Rogers. All Rights Reserved.


London Cinemas

From Friday 17th August
To Thursday 23rd August

- Cineworld Enfield
- Cineworld Feltham
- Cineworld Wandsworth


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Rest of UK and Irish Cinemas

Listed in alphabetical order by city/place name followed by cinema name.

From Friday 10th August
To Thursday 16th August

- Aberdare, The Coliseum Theatre
- Aberdeen, Cineworld Aberdeen - Queens Link
- Aberdeen, Cineworld Aberdeen - Union Square
- Antrim, Antrim Omniplex
- Arklow, Arklow Omniplex
- Ashford, Cineworld Ashford
- Ashton-under-Lyne, Cineworld Ashton-under-Lyne
- Athlone, IMC Athlone
- Banbridge, Banbridge Omniplex
- Bangor, Bangor Omniplex
- Barnstaple, Central Cinema
- Basildon, Cineworld Basildon
- Bedford, Cineworld Bedford
- Belfast, Kennedy Centre Belfast Omniplex
- Belfast, Movie House Cityside (Yorkgate)
- Birmingham, Cineworld Birmingham
- Birmingham, Cineworld Birmingham NEC
- Boldon Colliery, Cineworld Boldon Tyne And Wear
- Bolton, Cineworld Bolton
- Bracknell, Cineworld Bracknell
- Bradford, Cineworld Bradford
- Braintree, Cineworld Braintree
- Brighton, Cineworld Brighton
- Bristol, Cineworld Bristol
- Bundoran, Eclipse Cinemas Bundoran
- Burton-on-Trent, Cineworld Burton Upon Trent
- Bury St Edmunds, Cineworld Bury St Edmunds
- Cambridge, The Light Cinema, Cambridge
- Cardiff, Cineworld Cardiff
- Carrickfergus, Carrickfergus Omniplex
- Castleford, Cineworld Castleford
- Cheltenham, Cineworld Cheltenham
- Chester, Cineworld Broughton
- Chesterfield, Cineworld Chesterfield
- Chichester, Cineworld Chichester
- Cookstown, Ritz Multiplex
- Cork, Cork Omniplex
- Crawley, Cineworld Crawley
- Dover, Cineworld Dover
- Dundalk, Dundalk Omniplex
- Dundee, Cineworld Dundee
- Dungannon, Dungannon Omniplex
- Dunstable, Grove Theatre
- Eastbourne, Cineworld Eastbourne
- Edinburgh, Cineworld Edinburgh
- Ely, Cineworld Ely
- Falkirk, Cineworld Falkirk
- Falmouth, Phoenix Cinema
- Fareham, Cineworld Whiteley
- Glasgow, Cineworld Glasgow - Silverburn
- Gloucester, Cineworld Gloucester Quays
- Harlow, Cineworld Harlow - Harvey Centre
- Hemel Hempstead, Cineworld Hemel Hempstead
- High Wycombe, Cineworld High Wycombe
- Hull, Cineworld Hull
- Huntingdon, Cineworld Huntingdon
- Ilfracombe, Embassy Cinema
- Ipswich, Cineworld Ipswich
- Jersey, Cineworld Jersey
- Larne, Larne Harbour Omniplex
- Leeds, Cineworld Leeds
- Leigh, Cineworld Leigh
- Limerick, Limerick Omniplex
- Lisburn, Lisburn Omniplex
- Llandudno, Cineworld Llandudno
- Londonderry, Derry Omniplex
- Loughborough, Cineworld Loughborough
- Luton, Cineworld Luton
- Maidenhead, Norden Farm Centre For The Arts
- Middlesbrough, Cineworld Middlesbrough
- Milton Keynes, Cineworld Milton Keynes
- Mullingar, IMC Mullingar
- Newcastle upon Tyne, Cineworld Newcastle Upon Tyne
- Newport, Cineworld Isle Of Wight
- Newport, Cineworld Newport Friars Walk
- Newport, Cineworld Newport Spytty Road
- Newport, The Riverfront
- Newry, Newry Omniplex
- Northampton, Cineworld Northampton
- Nottingham, Cineworld Nottingham
- Pontardawe, Pontardawe Arts Centre
- Poole, Cineworld Poole
- Redruth, Regal Film Centre
- Rochester, Cineworld Rochester
- Rugby, Cineworld Rugby
- Ruislip, Cineworld South Ruislip
- Runcorn, Cineworld Runcorn
- Seaham, Cineworld Dalton Park
- Sheffield, Cineworld Sheffield
- Shrewsbury, Cineworld Shrewsbury
- Solihull, Cineworld Solihull
- Stevenage, Cineworld Stevenage
- St Helens, Cineworld St Helens
- St Ives, The Royal
- Stockport, The Light Cinema, Stockport
- Stoke-on-Trent, Cineworld Stoke-on-Trent
- Swindon, Cineworld Swindon Shaw Ridge
- Telford, Cineworld Telford
- Tralee, Tralee Omniplex
- Wakefield, Cineworld Wakefield
- Weston-super-Mare, Cineworld Weston-Super-Mare
- Weymouth, Cineworld Weymouth
- Wolverhampton, Cineworld Wolverhampton
- Yeovil, Cineworld Yeovil


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