The lackluster story connects the cliches but leaves the characters isolated. Underdog may have been originally created to sell cereal for General Mills, but this latest incarnation couldn't sell Frisbees at a dog park.
The TV show was mildly subversive, with humor that children and adults could enjoy on different levels, but the movie strives for a blander, family-oriented middle ground.
Even at a lean 84 minutes, padded with a credit blooper reel, it seems long. If you've seen one flying dog, you've seen them all. Jay Leno's cameo appearance proves he's almost as big a publicity hound as Larry King.
The movie's sloppiness is galling, especially given its target audience. It's one thing to feed grown-ups junk, and another to serve it to consumers too young to know they're being had.