Chilly Dogs (2001)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Animal Picture, Family-Oriented Adventure, Family-Oriented Comedy  |   Release Date - Jan 1, 2001 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 103 min.  |   Countries - Canada, United Kingdom, United States  |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Buzz McClain

Made a year before the remarkably similarly-themed Snow Dogs -- a warm weather young man goes to Alaska to run a sled dog race to gain an inheritance -- Chilly Dogs relies on broad -- waaaay broad -- cartoon-like slapstick action to generate laughs. Some of it works (the sight gag of Kevin's assemblage of mutts), some of it is tiresome (Kevin's predilection for falling into open manholes) but most of it is so inane as to slide right by. Segments of the movie play like blackout sketches without coherent segues from one scene to the next, a sure sign the story isn't supporting the gags. Skeet Ulrich,who plays like a combination of Adam Sandler and Johnny Depp, just doesn't impart the effortlessness necessary for this sort of shtick. You need a Leslie Nielsen for that, but here Nielsen is cast against type as the villain, which hamstrings his comedy. Natasha Henstridge, however, can do no wrong and is as charming as ever. There are a couple of things that pre-teens will find racy and parents will find alarming -- two sequences involving opposite sexes sleeping together -- which obviates the most likely audience to laugh at the material -- little kids. Oddly enough, both Ulrich and Snow Dogs star Cuba Gooding Jr. co-starred in 1999's Chill Factor before assuming starring roles in competing sled dog movies. You think it was personal?