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By Michael Dequina | March 31, 2001

See Spot run. See David Arquette once again make a complete a*s of himself. See your life inch 90 minutes closer to death-which, come to think of it, is preferable alternative to sitting through this cinematic exercise in torture.
The “Spot” of the title is no ordinary dog. In fact, his name isn’t really Spot-it’s Agent 11, the top dog (yes, bad pun intended) in the FBI’s K-9 unit. After a mob boss (Paul Sorvino, who either got a nice paycheck or has a career in deeper trouble than anyone could have imagined) whom Agent 11 humiliated takes a contract out on the mutt, he’s sent to a remote protective refuge in Alaska. Alas, something goes wrong and Agent 11 somehow ends up in the custody of loser mailman Gordon (Arquette), who is already caring for neighbor Stephanie’s (Leslie Bibb) 6-year-old son (Angus T. Jones). The dog-loving moppet quickly grows attached to the newly-christened “Spot” (a curious name, for the bulldog’s coat has none to speak of), which leads to danger when the reliably bumbling bad guys slowly but surely close in on their prey.
Director John Whitesell and his team of five (!) writers have apparently never come across a broad, obvious gag they didn’t like. Gordon repeatedly falls into a pile of fresh dog doo. Stephanie gets splashed with mud. A zebra passes gas. Spot bites a man’s crotch. And so on. With talent such as Sorvino and Michæl Clarke Duncan (as Agent 11’s obsessively devoted partner/trainer) aboard, one would think the filmmakers would at least try to bring some slight whiff of intelligence or innovation to the proceedings. But they keep their aim lower than low, and the film accordingly lumbers along from tired joke to tired joke.
Arquette’s amped-up performance could be considered an exception to the general malaise surrounding “See Spot Run,” but such over-the-top hysterics are old hat for anyone who’s seen one of his AT&T commercials, let alone one of his movies-further reinforcing the feeling that you’ve seen it all before, and in other bad forms of entertainment. So why bother suffering through any of it again?

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